You might have heard this before, but there are plans to bring back NBA Jam back. This being the series’ 25th anniversary, a special “NBA Jam Day,” during which the LA Clippers will host the Sacramento Kings with NBA Jam announcer Tim Kitzrow calling plays, should bring back some nice nostalgia for local fans today. But there are bigger plans underway.
Speaking to ESPN, Kitzrow said he is currently working with Microsoft to bring the series back in some way. “I can’t speak anything to the specifics, but I can tell you there is movement in the works to get it done for the 25th year,” Kitzrow said. “So I’m hoping that we get a remake that does justice to the original.” Kitzrow would have to also work with EA, who currently owns the rights to the series and attempted to bring the series back itself back in 2010.
Kitzrow may also be working with Michael Jordan. According to NBA Jam’s original creative lead Mark Turmell, special copies of the original arcade game were made for Jordan, Gary Payton, and Ken Griffey Jr. (who sports/SNES game fans will quickly realize is not an NBA player but rather an ex-MLB player for the Seattle Mariners) which had them in it. Speaking with Shacknews, Kitrow stated he is working on a way to get that version of the game officially released. “It’s like the Holy Grail, the Michael Jordan one-off-only NBA Jam game,” Kitzrow said. “We just have some legal hurdles to go through, but we’re hoping for the 25th anniversary to get that done.”
For a recent interview with Kitzrow covering the history of the series as well as the voice actor’s other works, check out this interview we did with him for The Game Informer Show.
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I played a lot of NBA Jam on the Sega Game Gear, of all things, and enjoyed the heck out of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition when it came out in 2011. If this new revival leads to something as good as that, I’m all for it.