Lead designer for 'NBA Jam' was a Pistons fan, tweaked game so Bulls would lose

Take that, Scottie Pippen.

This is pretty fantastic: Mark Turmell, the lead designer for the iconic video game "NBA Jam," was such an avid Pistons fan that he tweaked the game to make it difficult for the Chicago Bulls to win close games against Detroit. From an interview with ESPN Magazine:

Did Scottie Pippen's ratings in the game really drop when he played certain teams?

It's true, but only when the Bulls played the Pistons. If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks. There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field.

Younger fans who are only familiar with this game as a mobile app might not appreciate how addictive this game once was (I mean, c'mon -- we were just a few years removed from "Double Dribble" back then) but it's one of the most profitable coin-operated arcade games of all time.

How addictive was it? According to the interview, Shaquille O'Neal was so hooked that he bought two machines -- one for his house, and one for his hotel room when the Orlando Magic went on the road.

(hat-tip: @bydanielvictor)

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