NBA Jam XXX, an in-house version of the Super Nintendo classic that features raunchy voice-over calls, made waves online after I unearthed the game on a development prototype board last summer. The subsequent article that I wrote and corresponding YouTube video that I recorded has since resulted in over 100,000 people hearing Tim Kitzrow, NBA Jam‘s iconic announcer, shouting outrageous lines like “He’s on fucking fire,” “Grabs his johnson,” and “Get that shit out of here.”
The public’s excitement over NBA Jam XXX soon turned into skepticism when Kitzrow called the recordings fake and the game a “hack job” created by an impersonator.
“I’m still friends with a lot of those folks from Acclaim and Iguana and no one knows who is pulling your chain,” he told Kotaku. “A good imitation to be sure, but trust me Jam was too big to have ever messed around like that.”
After his dismissive remarks, many started to brush off the game as a hoax, an attention-seeking stunt.
By accepting NBA Jam XXX from a private anonymous industry source, I had effectively adopted and taken ownership of its legacy. The game’s future rested in my hands. As its new caretaker, I felt that I had an obligation to defend NBA Jam XXX‘s integrity as a real piece of arcade and video game history that deserves to be respected and remembered.
For the sake of the game’s long-term preservation, I set out on a mission to untangle the wild mystery behind NBA Jam XXX.