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New NBA Jam documentary set to slam dunk on to screen

Doc about the retro video game classic is in the works.

New NBA Jam documentary set to slam dunk on to screen
Marc Chacksfield
18 January 2021

When you think of the best sports video games of all time, NBA Jam has to be high up on that list. Whether you were into basketball or not, the game was a revelation when it came out on console way back in 1994 (after being in arcades in '93).

Made by the developer that also gave us Super High Impact, it was a billion dollar success, thanks to its speedy gameplay, spectacular dunks, its allowance of fouls and catchphrases that were shouted in playgrounds the world over.

This is despite the fact that big names such as Michael Jordan and Shaq O'Neil weren't even in the game.

To celebrate the success of NBA Jam, a documentary is being made nearly 30 years after its release.

According to Variety, it will based on Reyan Ali’s book NBA Jam which features myriad interviews with the makers of the game and all the big players involved with it.

“Our film is more than just an original story about the most successful sports game of all time. There are various sub-plots that detail how gaming was transitioning from arcades to home entertainment and how it would eventually lead to the demise of Midway,” says Sean Menard, the filmmaker taking on the book.

Jack Sussman, whose production studio is creating the film, said: “This documentary will not only be a trip down memory lane for older audiences but will reveal to a younger generation how it all started with a gaming industry today worth many billions of dollars.”

There's no word on release date or where we will be able to watch the doc but this one feels ripe for Netflix, given its success with retro gaming series High Score.

As this is ShortList, we couldn't end this piece without a list of our favourite catchphrases from the game, all said by the brilliant Tim Kitzrow.

  • "He's on fire!"
  • "Nothin' but nylon"
  • "Boomshakalaka!"
  • "The only thing better than a dunk... is a blocked dunk!"
  • "Razzle Dazzle!"

These are the best retro games of all time.