NBA Jam Really Did Have Something Against the Chicago Bulls

As it turns out, the 1990s video game NBA Jam actually includes a bit of code that prevents the [...]

As it turns out, the 1990s video game NBA Jam actually includes a bit of code that prevents the Chicago Bulls from scoring a last-minute shot against the Detroit Pistons. Instead, the ball just... wouldn't go in, apparently. NBA Jam lead designer and programmer Mark Turmell's recent video interview with Ars Technica has been making the rounds online, and he admits to fiddling a bit with the programming to favor the Pistons just a smidge when they would play against the Bulls.

Around 20 minutes into the video, which you can watch in full above, Turmell reveals his sneaky addition. "Making this game in Chicago, during the height of the Michael Jordan era, there was a big rivalry, you know, the Pistons and the Bulls, but the one way that I could get back at the Bulls once they got over the hump was to affect their skills against the Pistons in NBA Jam," Turmell says, "and so I put in special code that if the Bull were taking a last-second shot against the Pistons, they would miss those shots. And so, if you're ever playing the game, make sure you pick the Pistons over the Bulls."

To be fair, this isn't exactly news. Turmell has previously gone on the record about his little insertion, and the internet seems to remember that he did this every so often, but the Ars Technica video serves as a handy reminder for 2020. "If there was a close game [against the Pistons] and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks," Turmell told ESPN in 2008. "There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field."

What do you think of the sneaky little code? Are you a big NBA Jam fan? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!