Two years ago, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson interviewed Tim Kitrow, who is the voice of the popular basketball game NBA Jam. During their, chat Kitrow revealed that Michael Jordan had an exclusive version of NBA Jam made for him by Midway. He also shared that Gary Payton and former Seattle Mariner great Ken Griffey Jr. own a version of that game. Kitrow was also disappointed that MJ wasn’t a part of the game.
Jordan was not a part the non exclusive version because he had marketing agreement with the shoe giant Nike that didn’t allow him to participate in NBPA’s group license.
“Of course. It was just a terrible thing. I was his biggest fan, and I was in Chicago. Actually, in Albany, New York, Phil Jackson was the coach in the CBA league, where he won a title. I moved out here he became the assistant coach [of the Chicago Bulls], and then Michael Jordan I’d seen in the Olympics he came to the Bulls, and it was such an exciting time. So for him to not be in the game was disappointing,” said Kitrow.
“But aside story to this; the interesting thing is him Gary Payton, Ken Griffey Jr., all wanted to be in the game. Gary Payton wasn’t in the very first year with the Sonics. So we got a call from their agents and I came back in the studio and recorded their voices. The artists put together the visuals and we sent them each individual a large NBA Jam package. Gary Payton bought three and I’ve spoken to him recently he’s got three of them out in Oakland.”
This week Robinson caught up with NBA champion and basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton on the latest episode of Scoop B Radio. Robinson asked him about his NBA Jam cabinets, including the with Michael Jordan in it.
“I have four NBA Jam [Arcade] cabinets. I have four NBA cabinets, but I only have one with MJ on there. I’m a big arcade game dude. I like the big games. I don’t play the Playstation or the Xbox or none of that. I got all the old big games. I own about 50 of ‘em. I got them all in my houses everywhere, so – and I got that stuff all over the house… I got like, pinball machines all that stuff… old school everything,” said Payton.
“And when it [NBA Jam] came out, I had to keep it because my kids like him, so I was like, let me just get ‘em all man… and also I the [NFL] Blitz, Tecmo Bowl… I got all that in arcades in the big ol’ cabinets. But I like it, and I got all four of the NBA Jams.”
Payton also talked about playing against Michael Jordan and baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.
“Well me and Ken played up there in Seattle at a bar called Julian’s. We used to go there and there was a pool table. Now the only game I played with Mike was pool. We used to shoot and he was REAL competitive. I could shoot, he could shoot and we used to spend a lot of money going back and forth gambling, but I never got the opportunity to play either one of them in these games. I would have loved to play Mike to see if he had some skills on there because I was pretty good in that, you know what I’m sayin’? I used to get on that NBA Jams and turn it out and I just wanted to be ‘On Fire’ and I used to love all that.”
Payton won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006 defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games.