'NBA Video, nothing gets you closer to the gaaaame!' As a 12 year old kid, not many things got me as hyped as hearing these magic words through my TV speakers. After switching on the video player, inserting the VHS cassette and hearing the familiar clicks and clunks, I would then make it my duty to watch every inch of that tape, from the trailers to the credits. Given the fact that the USA was thousands of miles away, and I didn't get on a plane until my later teens, this was as close as I was going to get!
I mentioned NBA Videos briefly in a previous post, but it's been through numerous conversations since then that I've really understood the national (and of course international) impact that NBA videos have had. What you have to understand is that there was no YouTube, in fact the internet was only just catching on, so nba.com was a bit of a mystery. We didn't yet have mobile phones, never mind smart phones, and so any chance to have something tangible was not to be missed. NBA Videos provided an opportunity to peek into this exciting world!
As you know, my first experience of NBA Basketball was watching someone play NBA Jam in an arcade. From there I was brought a sticker album which I'm very proud to say I completed, but it wasn't until I was given NBA Rewind as a birthday gift that I actually saw the players in my sticker book in video form! This video was mainly made up of goofy plays and players falling over, but it also included some of the 'finest' plays too. I can't imagine how many times I watched that tape.
Well, we do now live in an age where the NBA is much more accessible, which is a good thing, generally. This means that the tapes from this classic era have been uploaded onto YouTube by some dedicated fans, here are a few of my favorites:
Finally here is a clip from that first NBA video I ever got... take it away Tim!