— 12 August 2022

NBA 2K23 Is Bringing Back The “Jordan Challenge” & It’s Bloody Glorious

— 12 August 2022

On March 18th, 1995, Michael Jordan issued a press release that contained just two words: “I’m back.” And 12 years after it first became a beloved feature of NBA 2K11, the “Jordan Challenge” is back with five additional moments.

The goal here is to reintroduce the legendary moments of Michael Jordan to a generation that might not be familiar with them. If anyone was seriously thinking about buying the version of this game with Devin Booker on the cover, forget about it. The Michael Jordan Edition and the Championship Edition just have a gravitas that #23 deserves. This is honestly the coolest thing 2K has done in years.

Blasting The Alan Parson Project’s ‘Sirius’ with Ray Clay’s iconic introduction, this game promises to make you feel Like Mike. Complete with a set of broadcast filters and chyron graphics (yeah — they have those old scoreboards) to mimic the feeling of watching MJ’s games on CRT televisions. They’ve also added playing mechanics to recreate the rules of the era and the physical toll of taking a hard foul from the Bad Boy Pistons.

RELATED: Was Michael Jordan’s Iconic “Flu Game” Secretly Just A Hangover?

The team behind 2K23 studied the original designs of locations such as the Chicago Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Richfield Coliseum, and the Great Western Forum; as well as included crowds wearing clothing authentic to the era. The arenas are even said to have used sponsors’ classic logos on the stadium advertisements. 

Additionally, players will experience NBC Sports broadcast partners Marv Albert and “The Czar of the Telestrator” Mike Fratello, plus sideline reporter and longtime Jordan pal Ahmad Rashad, in case you didn’t think the Jordan Challenge was authentic enough. Suffice it to say, some serious Jordan fans were behind this operation.

While Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller continue their frustrating rebellion to being in these games, we are finally getting the North Carolina Tar Heels for the NCAA component of MyCareer and Jordan’s story. MJ being involved with the game was what persuaded the college to finally give in.

Another welcome addition is Phil Jackson’s presence as a coach, which was absent in NBA 2K22. At 1:32, when the iconic “Flu Game” bro hug between Scottie and Mike is recreated, it appears as though Phil Jackson is featured in the background. Not to nitpick, but this looks a great deal more like Jackson in circa ’91 than it does in ’98 when that game took place. 

These are the moments you’ll soon get to relive:

  • THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (March 29, 1982 | Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans)
  • PRELUDE TO A DREAM (July 9, 1984 | Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis)
  • GOD IN DISGUISE (April 20, 1986 | Game 2 – Eastern Conference First Round, Boston Garden, Boston)
  • AN ALL-STAR FOREVER (February 7, 1988 | NBA All-Star Game, Chicago Stadium)
  • THE SHOT (May 7, 1989 | Game 5 – Eastern Conference First Round, Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland)
  • SHOOTOUT AT THE ATL CORRAL (1990, Chicago Bulls vs Atlanta Hawks)
  • NICE (March 28, 1990 | Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland)
  • THE JORDAN RULES (May 26, 1990. Game 3 – Eastern Conference Finals, Chicago Stadium, Chicago)
  • SHOWTIME (June 2-12, 1991 | NBA Finals – Chicago Stadium, Chicago & Great Western Forum, Los Angeles)
  • THE SHRUG (June 3, 1992 | Game 1 – NBA Finals, Chicago Stadium, Chicago)
  • DOUBLE NICKEL (March 18, 1995 | Madison Square Garden, New York)
  • FATHER’S DAY (June 16, 1996 | Game 6 – NBA Finals, United Center, Chicago)
  • THE FLU GAME (June 11, 1997 | Game 5 – NBA Finals, Delta Center, Salt Lake City)
  • PASSING THE TORCH (December 17, 1997 | United Center, Chicago)
  • THE LAST DANCE (June 14, 1998 | Game 6 – NBA Finals, Delta Center, Salt Lake City)

The Jordan Challenge will be available in all editions of NBA 2K23, launching on September 8th for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. 

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