In the early 1990s, Tim Kitzrow liked to take his seven-year-old son to Chicago's popular arcade spots, where he could watch his kid play video games and excitedly shout the same few phrases over and over. At first, as Kitzrow recalls it today, the basketball game Run and Gun was popular among the kids at the arcade. Its commentary, however, was generic—a generic announcer making generic play-calls like "He shoots a three, it goes in"—and Kitzrow was not impressed. Soon, though, he watched—and listened—as the kids gravitated toward a new two-on-two game.
NBA Jam took the basics of basketball and amplified them into deliriousness. Players threw down dunks that involved midair somersaults, fired off two-handed shoves on defense, and bombed away from deep with a flaming basketball after making three straight shots. Through it all, an upbeat, faintly Marv Albert-esque voice would exult "He's heating up!" or "He's on fire!" Dunks were punctuated with an exuberant "Boomshakalaka!"
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