“I put in a special code that if the Bulls were taking last-second shots against the Pistons, they would miss those shots.”: NBA Jam Creator admits to rigging game against Chicago Bulls

Joe Viju
|Published 11/10/2021

NBA Jam designer admits to coding the game to make the Chicago Bulls miss late shots against the Pistons since he was a die-hard Detroit fan.

If you’re a fan of the NBA and video games, you’ve heard of NBA Jam. The game became a phenomenon among basketball fans when it came out way back in 1993.

The Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons had one of the most intense rivalries during the 1980s. The two Eastern Conference powerhouses were going toe-to-toe with each other on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, the lead designer of the game, Mark Turmell was a lifelong Detroit Pistons fan.

Those “Bad Boy” Pistons simply tried to kill Michael Jordan every time he drove to the basket. As a result, the “Jordan Rules” came into the picture.

The “Jordan Rules” forced the Bulls legend to hit the gym and get stronger. He put on muscle in the summer of 1990 and was ready to give the Pistons a ta

In the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, Jordan and the Bulls swept the Pistons, finally getting past their arch-nemesis. Ever since then, Jordan has hated Detroit legend Isiah Thomas, and still does to this day.

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NBA Jam Creator confirms rumors about the game being rigged against the Chicago Bulls

Mark Turmell, designer and lead programmer for NBA Jam, appeared in an interview with Ars Technica’s War Games. He said that the game was programmed for the Chicago Bulls to miss last-second shots against the Detroit Pistons. He goes on to say –

“I made this game in Chicago during the height of the Michael Jordan era.  There was a big rivalry between the Pistons and the Bulls. But the one way I could get back at the Bulls once they got over the hump was to affect their skills against the Pistons in NBA Jam.”

“And so, I put in special code that if the Bulls were taking last-second shots against the Pistons, they would miss those shots.”

The rivalry is so intense that Pistons guard Isiah Thomas isn’t welcome in Chicago even to this day. However, a true sports fan can understand the actions of the game creator. He was just being loyal.

So, if you ever play NBA Jam against a friend and they pick the Bulls, you should probably pick the Pistons. Just to make sure you secure the win.

Also Read: “Moses Malone does eat s**t”: When Larry Bird openly ripped Moses Malone on TV after winning the 1981 NBA Championship

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