Barkley: Shut Up and Jam – This game was released at the mid-point of Barkley’s time in Phoenix, on June 1, 1994. Sir Charles had just recently been knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual champs, the Rockets. Barkley would finish his career in Houston, but with Michael Jordan back in the NBA, there would be no championships. The Dream Teamer and Hall of Famer has been an analyst for TNT since his retirement in 2000, and the brash, controversial comments and actions have continued.
David Robinson’s Supreme Court – Released on Dec. 31, 1992, this game came out following a summer in which Robinson was a teammate of Barkley’s on the original Dream Team. Robinson had a great individual career intact, but it wasn’t until Tim Duncan arrived that the he got his two NBA titles. The class of 2009 Hall of Famer, known for philanthropy during his career, has continued those ways, and his name is on the plaque NBA players receive for community service.
Shaq Fu – Shaq was nearing the end of his sophomore season when this game was released on March 1, 1994. He finished that year second in the NBA in points per game and rebounds per game. O’Neal won three championships in eight years in L.A. before his grand tour around the league really got started. Three and a half years in Miami yielded another championship before he spent little more than a season in Phoenix, one in Cleveland and finally landed in Boston. O’Neal leads all active players in field goal percentage, blocks, rebounds and points and will go down as an all-time great.
Pat Riley Basketball – Ironically, Riley was not coaching when this game was released on Dec. 31, 1990. He was working for NBC after resigning after nine years coaching the Lakers — winning four championships in seven trips to the Finals. He began coaching the Knicks in 1991 before moving on to coach the Heat. He retired in 2003, but returned in 2005 to win another title. He’d retire again in 2008 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame that same year. He’s currently an executive with the Miami Heat and helped put together their super team.
Jordan vs. Bird: Super One on One – Jordan was coming of two- straight NBA and Finals MVPs, while Bird had recently retired when this game was released on Dec. 31, 1992. Jordan retired for the first time following that season. Bird was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 — the same year Jordan won his last title — and has been the president of basketball operations for the Pacers since 2003. Jordan holds the same title for the Bobcats as well as being the majority owner of the team.
Slam City with Scottie Pippen – Released on Sept. 9, 1994, this game came after Pippen posted a career-high 22 points per game in his first season post-Jordan. His 21.4 points per game the season it came out was second best for his career. Following a second three-peat and Jordan’s second retirement, Pippen spent a year in Houston and four in Portland before returning for 23 games in Chicago and retiring in 2004. The class of 2010 Hall of Famer was named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list in 1996.