Do you remember the classic video game NBA Jam?

If you grew up in the 90s — and even if you didn’t but you’re a gaming junky — your answer is undoubtedly yes. The classic arcade style basketball game that was centered around teams consisting of two players each and it’s unique play-by-play catch phrases became a cultural phenomenon. Unique game play that included the ability to “be on fire” after three consecutive makes by a player and dunks that included acrobatics that would make even Cirque du Soleil performers turn green with envy.

In its heyday, both NBA Jam and NBA Jam Tournament Edition were released and became instant bestsellers with Suns teams that included Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, Danny Manning, Wayman Tisdale and even the Gorilla. The game has always left us wondering though, what if they made a Suns-centric version of the game that included teams from each decade and the “odd” pairings that secret cheat codes always provided? Who would reign supreme and who would fall flatter than a full court shot by a center in the game?

This March, we’re setting out to end that debate. While we couldn’t convince EA Sports to actually create the game for us — although, we’ll happily accept if you want to make us the offer — we figured we’d let our experts debate who would be the best team and let fans vote on it as well.

We’ve set up a 16 team bracket that includes two teams from each decade the team has been in existence, two “odd couples” teams including strange pairings from Suns history and two fans choice teams.

Over the next three weeks our field of 16 will be paired down until the eventual champion will be crowned. All matchups will be judged solely on who would best team in an NBA Jam style game using all the arcade rules. Checkout the bracket here and get ready for our first matchup set for March 11th.

First Round Matchups

Connie Hawkins/Neal Walk Vs. Dick Van Arsdale/Gail Goodrich. Voting open now.

Kevin Johnson/Charles Barkley Vs. Jason Kidd/Antonio McDyess. Voting Open Now

Larry Nance/Dan Majerle Vs. Walter Davis/Tom Chambers. Voting Open Now

Paul Westphal/Alvan Adams Vs. Gar Heard/Truck Robinson: Voting Open Now

About Greg Esposito

Hi, my name is Greg Esposito, my friends call me Espo and I’m a Phoenix Suns-aholic. I also happen to be the team's Social Media Specialist as well as one of the online content creators. You'll find my sarcastic musings here on as the Suns Retorter.

  • zachary Adams

    Penny and Shaq???? I thought this was a SUNS blog… not a MAGIC blog!!! How is that the “fans choice”?? The OG NBA Jam Suns team is the best for sure… KJ and CB34. Followed closely but Nash and STAT, circa ’05!

  • Kenny


  • ChattPacker

    Manning/Tisdale, anyone? With Ainge/Schayes not far behind. Finley/Suns Gorilla coming in at third, and Kurt Rambis bringing up the rear paired up with his goggles.