Stephen Curry has been on fire all season long for the Golden State Warriors, but now ESPN has really made it official by putting him in NBA Jam-style commercial.
The Rockets hosted a 90's Throwback Thursday night, which featured a halftime performance from hip-hop group Tag Team, performing their 1993 hit, "Whoomp! (There It Is)." Additionally, Houston's starting lineup was announced by Tim Kitzrow, who rose to prominence in the 90's with his voice contributions to the video game, NBA Jam.
From USA Today: In honor of Throwback Thursday, the Houston Rockets evoked the 1990’s video game, “NBA Jam,” to showcase some of the team’s best moments this season. The clip is complete with catchphrases from the original game (“Boomshakalaka!”), fun sound effects, and retro visuals (like flaming basketballs).
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!"
Read the Full Article: https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/man-on-fire-the-voice-behind-nba-jams-most-iconic-lines
Seth Rogen and James Franco sparked an international incident in 2014 when they produced The Interview, a fictional story about Kim Jong Un that resulted in North Korea hacking Sony Pictures! Further cementing Jams inimitable status in contemporary pop culture, Rogen and Franco told the LA Times and Rolling Stone, NBA Jam helped inspire the film:
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's office on the Sony Pictures lot is a lot like you might imagine it to be. A glass marijuana pipe sits on the desk beside Rogen's computer along with an ashtray filled with the butts of half a dozen joints. An arsenal of Nerf guns lines a shelf along one wall.
On a mid-November afternoon, the sound of yelling could be heard from the next room, where employees of Rogen and Goldberg's production company were playing the video game "NBA Jam," to which a great deal of time has been devoted lately. "If our next movie sucks, it'll be because of that," Goldberg said, deadpan.
If you've ever wondered what goes on between Robinson's ears when he plays his special brand of basketball, just think of the announcer's voice on "NBA Jam."
"I always think I'm on fire," he said after scoring 34 points in the Bulls' wild 142-134, triple-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets. "Like the old school game, 'NBA Jam,' you make a couple and the rim's on fire and when you shoot the ball, the ball's on fire. I feel like that at times. Well, all the time. When I'm in the game, I play with a lot of confidence and you kind of got to lie to yourself that you can't miss."
His bombastic boothman persona in NBA Jam isn't Tim Kitzrow's only gaming credit. The guy also was the voice of Rod Serling in the classic Twilight Zone pinball table. He got his start from his bandmates, who worked for Midway.
"In a lot of ways, it was the most fun I ever had," Kitzrow (left) told Danny Gallagher, writing for Asylum. "I was going into a studio and doing improv and coming up with crazy voices for things like 'Attack From Mars' or 'WHO dunnit.' It was like being an old radio actor where I got to use tons of different voices. It was an improv fantasy to do that."
That's where Kitzrow earned his chops, in Chicago's world-famous improv comedy circuit. But he was such a strong performer in the pinball gigs that when Mark Turmell, the guy charged with developing an NBA-licensed two-on-two basketball game, needed a voice, Kitzrow was put on his team.
"It was all just right place, right time," he said. That's the complete birth of the boomshakala.
Read the Full Article: http://kotaku.com/5693951/pinball-gave-nba-jams-announcer-his-gaming-start
February 2000 - Archived Interview with IGN:
IGN64: So Tim how long have you been working in the games business, and what titles have you lent your voice to?
Tim: It was, I think, 1990, and it started when I was playing drums in a band. Some of the musicians were musicians for Williams/Bally Midway, composing songs for all the pinball machines. They asked me if I could do a Mr. Howell -- they were doing a Gilligan's Island game and they couldn't find anyone who could do him, so they were kind of stuck -- and I did it. That was the beginning, and they started bringing me in for different pinball games. The first big one was Twilight Zone -- they had been looking in Chicago for a Rod Sterling, and they turned to me again. Because they [Midway] were friends, it was a kind of an easy-going thing. I wasn't out soliciting myself or going through an agent or anything, but it turns out I had some more abilities than some of the people they were going through the agencies for.
So I established myself with that game. It's funny, there were folks on the Internet who were convinced that what they had done was collected all of Rod Sterling's speech from different Twilight Zones and cut it up to paste it into the pinball game.
It was pretty good! We nailed it. That was one of the good ones. Then, briefly, I'll list a few of the other ones I worked on: Popeye, The Shadow (where I played... The Shadow), Road Show (which was a great one, a good redneck pinball game where a guy goes across the country wrecking things with his bulldozer... Carline Carter Cash was the female in that one), Judge Dredd, Junkyard, World Cup Soccer (which was done during the Olympics), Attack From Mars and its recent sequel Revenge From Mars (which is the first video and pinball-integrated pinball game, and also -- another milestone -- the last of the pinball era for Midway.
Then there was NBA Jam -- that was my first video game. IGN64: That's quite a way to break in.
Tim: Yeah, that was the first of its kind in the sports genre. No one had ever done any elaborate voice-over work on a sports game, and there weren't really any big sports games in the arcades at that point. Mark Turmell, genius that he is, saw the opening, and that game took off and ended up surprising everyone. It became the biggest selling arcade game in history, beating out Pac-Man and Space Invaders. The first year it took in 900 million dollars in quarters. [laughing] If you think that Jurrassic Park, after everything -- video sales, box office, and all their worldwide marketing campaign -- did about that, it was pretty amazing. At that time Midway was licensing their arcade game to Acclaim, and when they did the home version they called me and I did that.
That was back in the early days when there was such limited space on those machines that we literally had to go over, ten or fifteen times, something like "He's on fire!" as fast as we could until it was [wording it extremely fast] "H's o'fire!" "Fr' dn'tn!" and "P'pn!" There was just no room. It was screaming as fast and as loud as you can, and when I look back at that game, I think that it was, well, just not very good. But it was only because of the restrictions. I had it in me! I wanted to let it go, but it was just really, really difficult working on that format and under those restrictions.
Read the full Interview: http://www.ign.com/articles/2000/02/16/breaking-into-the-industry-tim-kitzrow