The NBA's tumultuous offseason involved far more than LeBron James jumping ship to Miami, and basketball video games, which release Oct. 5, will have to react to that on short notice.
NBA Jam seems the most affected by the rosters remade by free agency, as only two players are on the floor in the arcade-style slamfest. The triumvirate of James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade make the Miami Heat "one of the all-time greatest teams ever to hit the court in NBA Jam," an EA Canada rep told The Sporting News in a Q&A published today. "They key to any great Jam team has always been all-around strength and LeBron, Wade, and Bosh certainly tick every box, and then some. The toughest choice when playing with the Heat in Jam is you can only run with 2 of them at a time."
What about other free agent moves? "Everything the [New York] Knicks gained by adding Amare [Stoudemire], they lost when they sent David Lee to the Warriors. Adding [Carlos] Boozer to the [Chicago] Bulls will give them more depth off the bench, but we still see [Joakim] Noah as the stronger shot blocker to Rose's speed and ability to get to the rim.
"The flip side to how all of these free agency moves are reflected in NBA JAM, is that now it's going to be a lot harder to win running with the Suns, the Jazz, and the Cavs unless they make some major plays real soon."
The Sporting News also asked how the free agency changes affect a sim-quality basketball game, like NBA Elite 11, made by the same studio. Notably, as player ratings are progressively updated through the game's Dynamic DNA service, it seems intuitive that one of the three superstars in Miami is going to see his individual attributes suffer because of the need to share the scoring opportunities.
"Dynamic DNA tracks tendencies and trends," EA Canada said. "The more games they play together, the more information we compile and put in the game. In terms of ratings, their stats and level of play in the upcoming season will have an effect. We all know how good a player like Bosh is, but if he for some reason struggles with Miami his ratings will take a hit."
There's more through the link.
How Will NBA Free Agency Change NBA Gaming? EA Dishes Answers on Jam, Elite [The Sporting News]