[[caption-width-right:350:''BOOM Shaka-laka!'']]

''NBA Jam'' is a two-on-two basketball game that was released in the arcades (by Creator/MidwayGames) and 16-bit consoles (by Creator/{{Acclaim}}). The game is notorious for its insane dunks and equally insane catchup. The game became a phenomenon when it was released in 1993, [[CashCowFranchise earning over a billion dollars in quarters over its lifespan]]. An UpdatedRerelease titled ''NBA Jam: Tournament Edition'' quickly followed, with new players, stat tracking, and hidden players. In 2010, [[Creator/ElectronicArts EA]] would release ''NBA Jam'' on the 7th-generation consoles.

After ''TE'', Acclaim took the ''NBA Jam'' name away from Midway and used it to make basketball games until its demise. Midway, meanwhile, made several games that took the ''Jam'' formula and expanded on it. These games were ''NBA Hangtime'' and its UpdatedRerelease ''NBA Maximum Hangtime''; ''NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC'', which took the series into 3D and used a presentation based on Creator/{{NBC}}'s basketball airings, and ''VideoGame/NBABallers'', an answer to EA's ''NBA Street'' series.
!!''NBA Jam'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AnnouncerChatter: Provided by Tim Kitzrow doing his best Marv Albert impression, providing memorable quips that have only sweetened with age:
** '''HE'S ON FIRE!'''
** [[Creator/SpikeLee It's GOTTA be the shoes!]]
* AuthorAppeal: A rare case where the designer actually admitted this and bragged about it. Series creator Mark Turmell, a Detroit Pistons fan, specifically programmed the game to make the Chicago Bulls miss last second shots in close games against the Pistons. Ironically, the development team was based in Chicago.
* BossBattle: Surprisingly implemented as a gameplay mechanic in the 2010 version of ''NBA Jam''. The bosses themselves are equally divided between the Eastern and Western Conferences, and between preexisting players and legends, who just so happen to be powered up just for the fight. The battles themselves are usually played as games of 21 (where the first player to hit 21 wins), yet there are some exceptions to the rule:
** Western: Kobe Bryant (stat boost in a close game), Magic Johnson (can teleport and pass the ball to himself), Yao Ming (grows bigger with every dunk, power-ups are scattered to shrink him), Chris Paul (domination rules with four slots instead of 6; if he gets all slots, he wins), Karl Malone (superpowered shoves, rubber powerups are placed to counter this)
** Eastern: [=LeBron=] James (goes on fire if losing), Dwyane Wade (game is played straight with no interuptions), Shaquille O'Neal (smash rules, if the backboard is destroyed, he wins; board can be repaired by shooting), Larry Bird (can shoot three consecutive 3-pointers if on fire), Julius Erving (domination rules, can dominate all points if on fire)
** The classic tour mode pits players against teams of two legends from the same city, with the final game being played against Magic Johnson and Larry Bird - the only cross-city team in the game, and fittingly enough, cannot be used by human players.
* BigHeadMode: TropeMaker.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: When playing a one-on-one match against Magic Johnson in the 2010 version of the game, Magic will ''literally'' use some magic teleporting skills to to make some very improbable plays, even by ''[=NBA=] Jam'' standards.
* DummiedOut: According to WordOfGod, UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan appeared in a very early revision of the original ''NBA Jam'', but was quickly excised from the game once Midway was notified Jordan wasn't a part of the NBA licensing.[[note]] For those wondering why he was an exception to the rule, NBA players have the option to opt-out of the licensing, thus allowing them to choose what NBA-related media they could appear in.[[/note]] However, Mark Turmell also confirmed there is a small number of collector's editions of the original game with MJ's code intact.
* EasterEgg: Aside from all of the games' [[ClassicCheatCode legendary cheat codes]], inputting a certain combination[[note]] Up and all buttons on Player 1 and Down and all buttons on Player 2[[/note]] while booting up the original arcade game allows you to play a hidden 3D tank minigame. In revision 3.01 of ''Jam'', your team would get a massive stat boost if you lasted for sixty seconds in the minigame.
* {{Expy}}: Traditionally, when Michael Jordan was not on the game roster, his stats would be given to Scottie Pippen. However, in ''Jam '99'', there's a player on the team simply named "Roster Guard", who strongly resembles Jordan and is given very high stats. To avoid legal issues, he was given a generic "99" jersey instead of the iconic "23".
* GenreShift: Acclaim's ''Jam'' games from '''99'' to ''Jam 2002'' shifted from its traditional arcade gameplay to simulation-style gameplay, akin to ''VideoGame/NBA2K'' and ''NBA Live''.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Tim Kitzrow slipped in quite a few cleverly risqué lines and puns in EA's ''Jam'' that never would've flew in 1993. Here's a few gems:
---> "Not cool, dude! You shot blocked me!"\\
"Get that weak shit...take mushroom outta here!"\\
"An unfortunate case of projectile dysfunction..."\\
"Two guys, one dunk!"\\
"I am the rainmaker. I'll ride you hard and you're gonna get wet."\\
"Like my wife says every night, REJECTED!"
** Subverted with ''[[MeaningfulName NBA Jam XXX]]'', An in-house prototype of the SNES port featuring profane calls from Kitzrow that was never meant to see the light of day to avoid pissing off the NBA. When the prototype surfaced in 2012, [[https://kotaku.com/5932227/is-this-r-rated-version-of-nba-jam-legit Kitzrow called it a hoax]], but Jon Hey, the game's composer and sound engineer, [[http://www.nintendoplayer.com/interview/nba-jam-xxx-posed/ refuted that claim]]. Check out all of the prototype's X-rated glory [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgzqLiIZmR8 here]].
* GuestFighter:
** Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile from ''Franchise/{{Mortal Kombat}}'' were {{Dummied Out}} from ''NBA Jam: Tournament Edition'', although they can be played through hacks.
** Music/GeorgeClinton, (under the name "P. Funk") and former U.S. President Bill Clinton can be unlocked in ''Tournament Edition''. Bill Clinton reappears in the 2009 revival and its 2010 update, this time bringing along Barack Obama and Joe Biden as teammates, and John [=McCain=], George W. Bush and Sarah Palin as rivals.
** In the ''On Fire'' edition of ''NBA Jam 2010'', Elise, Mac and Kaori are members of Team VideoGame/{{SSX}}. Another bonus team (Team EA) consists of ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'' and ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' protagonists Faith and Issac Clarke. The game also features the now-defunct Seattle [=SuperSonics=] as a playable team (with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp playing), as well as a team based of ''NBA Street'', some international teams and a couple of other random oddball players.
** Music/JCole and 9th Wonder are unlockable bonus characters in the 2009 version of ''Jam''. in the 2010 ''On Fire'' edition, they're replaced by The Music/BeastieBoys.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: As a sign of authenticity, and to distance themselves from Acclaim's ''Extreme'', [[http://s.emuparadise.org/MAME/flyers/nbahangt.png the covers and flyers]] for ''Hangtime'' featured the ''Jam T.E.'' logo with the words "Created By the Original ''Midway'' NBA Jam Design Team".
* KonamiCode: Used to unlock the Beastie Boys in ''NBA Jam: On Fire Edition'', with the final two buttons differing on what system you use.[[note]]Circle and X for [=PlayStation=] 3; B and A for the Xbox 360.[[/note]] A variant of the code is used to unlock J Cole and Ninth Wonder in the original version.
* ManualLeaderAIParty: You controlled the player who had the ball and the rest were AI driven (successfully passing would shift control to the player who caught it). If the opposing team had the ball you could switch between players freely. The game had a multiplayer mode which allowed up to four human players to control the team in the arcade version (leaving only one AI), however.
* MediumBlending: The Wii revival uses digitized player heads on 3D models. [[http://kotaku.com/5449844/a-first-look-at-nba-jam-for-the-wii Like this.]]
* MirrorMatch: Possible with any team and any set of players, yet played straight with Vince Carter in the ''On Fire Edition'' of the 2010 game, who is present in the Phoenix Suns as a regular player and as an unlockable one for the Toronto Raptors (Carter's old team, of which he is well-known for playing with).
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Jabs are permitted, players can jump several times what is humanly possible, and getting three shots in a row causes you to catch on fire and enter a SuperMode. Suffice to say, this is ''not'' a realistic basketball sim.
* NewJackSwing: Every game's OST by Midway and Acclaim until ''Jam '99'' was influenced by this, funk, hip hop, and dance music.
* NoFairCheating: The 2009-10 editions edition of ''Jam'' automatically disable the "One Shot Fire" cheat during the Arena Tour and Online Tour modes.
* PinballSpinoff: ''Jam'' was adapted into a pinball table called ''NBA Fastbreak'' by Midway in 1997, with Tim Kitzrow once again providing play-by-play.
* PopStarComposer: Rapper M-Doc of Indasoul wrote and produced the theme song "Whatcha Gonna Do?" and "Get Up, Get Up (First Quarter Music)" for ''Hangtime''.
* RubberBandAI
* ShoutOut: The announcer line "It's gotta be the shoes!" is a reference to Creator/SpikeLee's character Mars Blackmon from his film ''She's Gotta Have It'', who first used it as a CatchPhrase in several late 80s-early 90s Air Jordan sneaker commercials with UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan
* SpiritualSuccessor:
** After Midway lost the ''NBA Jam'' name to Acclaim in the mid '90s, they released a series of games with different names. First came ''NBA Hangtime'', which added a create-a-player mode and refined the gameplay elements, then ''[[UpdatedRerelease NBA Maximum Hangtime]]'' refined things even further. ''NBA Showtime'' then took the series into 3D and added in rudimentary fouls while avoiding the PolygonCeiling, ''[[XtremeKoolLetterz NBA Hoopz]]'' made it 3-on-3 as opposed to the 2-on-2 of previous games, then the ''VideoGame/NBABallers'' series added extra "bling". Then, EA Sports got the license, which was well-received.
** Midway branched out and applied the ''NBA Jam'' formula of "loose adherence to the rules and fast-paced gameplay" to other sports. The best example of this is the ''NFL Blitz'' series (with 7-a-side teams and 30-yard first downs and [[WrestlerInAllOfUs suplexes and leg drops on downed players between plays]]; after EA gained exclusivity of the NFL license, Midway succeeded it with ''Blitz: The League'', which ramped the violence aspect of ''NFL Blitz'' UpToEleven), but Midway also did it to hockey (''NHL 2 On 2 Open Ice Challenge, Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey, NHL Hitz''), soccer (''Red Card Soccer 20-02''), baseball (''MLB Slugfest''), golf (''Skins Game''), combat sports (''VideoGame/Ready2RumbleBoxing'', ''[[VideoGame/WWFWrestleManiaTheArcadeGame WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game]]'') and motorsport (''CART Fury'') as well.
** ''NBA Jam'' itself could be seen as a spiritual successor to ''Arch Rivals'', which debuted a few years earlier and [[TropeCodifier popularized]] the concept of arcade-style 2-on-2 basketball.
** Every game in EA's ''[[VideoGame/EASportsStreet Street]]'' series took a lot of cues from ''Jam'', though ''NBA Street'' is the obvious spiritual successor, to the point that Stretch was included in EA's ''Jam'' revival.
* SprintMeter: Use of the turbo button is time-limited and slowly regenerates. It stays full while a player is "on fire".
* UnstableEquilibrium / SuperMode: "He's on fire!" Make three shots in a row with a player and they get powered up, making it easier for them to make even more, and giving them powered-up dunking abilities. ''Hangtime'' and the 2011 ''On Fire'' edition adds Team Fire, by performing 3 consecutive alley-oops. The team is given 20 seconds of fire status, but can be extinguished by an opposing alley-oop.
* WakeUpCallBoss: If the RubberBandAI doesn't get you, the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves in the original 1993 game will. To make matters worse, they are usually the first two teams you will go up against.
** In ''Hangtime'', after defeating a certain amount of teams, opposing teams will start the game "fired up" at the beginning of the match, allowing them to activate Team Fire if they score the first point.