Stop the presses. We've got a scandal.
In an interview with Ars Technica, NBA Jam lead designer and programmer Mark Turmell (a Michigan native and self-professed Detroit Pistons fan!) admitted to having programmed the game to make the Bulls automatically miss last-second shots when playing the Pistons.
Here's the clip of that section of the interview:
The creator of NBA Jam finally confirms the long standing conspiracy theory that the game was programmed so that if the @ChicagoBulls took a last second shot against the @DetroitPistons it would always miss.
Mystery solved! pic.twitter.com/ugBw7cbx8k
— ᴀʀᴅᴀ Öᴄᴀʟ (@Arda) June 26, 2020
"Making 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," Turmell said in the interview. "And so I put in special code that if the Bulls were taking last-second shots against the Pistons, they would miss those shots.
"And so, if you're ever playing the game, make sure you pick the Pistons over the Bulls."
Not in your wildest dreams. But in all seriousness, this is an admirable level of pettiness that you simply have to respect.
Here's hoping, after ousting his befuddled Bulls-fan-friends, Turmell at least had the decency to shake hands afterwards. And vice versa.
NBA Jam designer admits programming Bulls to miss late-game shots vs. Pistons originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago