'NBA Jam' Designer Reveals Game Was Programmed to Screw the Bulls

Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen
Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen / VINCENT LAFORET/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls-Detroit Pistons rivalry ran deep in the early 1990s. The Pistons had dispatched Michael Jordan and the Bulls in three straight playoff series until 1991, when the Bulls finally defeated the Pistons en route to their first NBA title. When developing NBA Jam in the early 90s, lead designer Mark Turmell snuck in a easter egg for the rivalry.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Turmell, a Detroit Pistons fan, added in an edge for the "Bad Boys" in NBA Jam. As many fans long speculated, if the Bulls take a last second shot against the Detroit Pistons, they will always miss.

Turmell added this little trick to give his team the edge over their bitter rivals. The edge didn't transfer to real life though, as the Bulls would go on to win six NBA titles in the 1990s.

The in-game edit is a nice little jab at Bulls fans. Sadly, it was never Jordan missing the shot because he wasn't featured in the game (he was omitted from many video games after opting out of the National Basketball Players Association's shared licensing agreement). Instead, the closest Pistons fans could get to revenge over the GOAT was by beating his teammates Scottie Pippen and B.J. Armstrong.

Jordan was only available to play as in a special copy of the classic video game made for him by the developers.

If you can't get them back in real life, the next best thing is to do so in one of the most popular arcade games ever, right?