The NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge is back on the court, taking players to relive some of the most memorable and iconic moments of Jordan’s storied career.
In yesterday’s interview, the game’s developer Visual Concepts told us about the Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K23. For this return to play, they argue that many of the new generations of players have never seen Michael Jordan play live or on TV, and more than a decade later, now is the perfect time to tell about Jordan’s journey from college to NBA legend. Good times.
In NBA 2K23, the Jordan Challenge will include 15 unique games, from Jordan’s shy opening in North Carolina to his late game-winning shot with the Chicago Bulls. Like it happened in the year it actually happened.
The Jordan Challenge mode of NBA 2K23 will have a unique filter system and broadcast elements, making the game look like watching TV broadcasts of the 1980s and 1990s; players can clearly feel the evolution of TV technology while playing in the NBA arena.
VisualConcepts also invited legendary coach and analyst Mike Fratello and 90s Chicago Bulls streamer Ray Clay to join the production of NBA 2K23.
Mike Fratello will be the narrator of the Jordan Challenge during the game, and RayClay’s intro and entrance song “Sirius” was an integral element of the Bulls’ home game in the 1990s.
Before each Jordan Challenge game, the game features an interview with a prominent NBA figure who will recount Jordan’s glory days and invites including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rodman and Phil Jackson players and coaches inside.
Plus, the NBA is so different now than it was in the 80s and 90s, and VisualConcepts has also made changes to the gameplay to make Jordan’s challenge more realistic, rather than a modern game of classic teams and classic jerseys. In the Jordan era, the pace of the game was much slower than it is now, focusing more on low-post and mid-range games, and in the Jordan Challenge mode of “NBA 2K23”, the game will also focus on restoring this function.
At the same time, the basketball game of that era was more physical than it is now, and the rules were different. There will be no hand checks in the Jordan Challenge, and players must be careful about illegal defenses.
Against the Pistons, for example, you’ll also see the famous “Jordan Rules,” a set of defensive strategies designed to contain Jordan. In terms of restoring the player’s iconic moves, players will see Magic Johnson’s iconic No-look pass this time, and many legendary NBA superstars will also have new jumpers, layups, and dunks. And those moves that didn’t fit the era’s characteristics were also removed, such as false god dribbling and European layups.
Here’s what to expect from the Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K23:
1982 National Championship Game: North Carolina v. Georgetown
The 1982 National Championships showcased Mr. Key’s traits for the first time, future Hall of Famers, legendary matchups, and Michael Jordan’s first. With less than 20 seconds left, MJ trailed 62-61, and with 15 seconds left, first-year TarHeel (UNC) player MJ sealed the championship with a jumper. Many players, not just rookies, will succumb to the spotlight and intensity of the national championship game, but not No. 23. Experience Jordan’s first iconic shot by recreating the magic of the 1982 National Championship Game.
1984 USA Basketball Championship
In 1984, 67,596 fans flocked to Indiana Stadium to witness the confrontation between the NBA giants, as Michael Jordan’s U.S. Olympic team went head-to-head with Magic Johnson and the NBA All-Star team.
In a game featuring NBA legends like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas, and more, Jordan proved that as a rookie, he could beat some of the game’s greatest stars.
Game 2 of the first round of the 1986 Eastern Conference playoffs
In Michael Jordan’s second NBA playoff series, the then-22-year-old guard showed incredible confidence against the mighty Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan was a legend in Game 2, scoring 63 straight points. Jordan was nearly unstoppable, making layups among tall defenders and one jumper after another. Unleash Jordan’s historic offense again in NBA 2K23.
1988 NBA All-Star Game
Despite only playing 29 minutes, Michael Jordan led everyone with 40 points on 73.9 percent shooting. Facing a Western Conference All-Star team that included Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he turned the court into his ethereal presence.
1989 Eastern Conference Playoffs First Round Game 5
The knockout game is the ultimate test for any would-be “key player” competitor, and the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers tied 2-2 in Game 5 in Cleveland, set the stage for Jordan’s brilliance. The North Carolina native had 44 points, nine rebounds, and six assists with the Cavaliers to give his team a one-point advantage. Jordan showed his versatility in shattering Cleveland’s playoff hopes.
1990 Atlanta Hawks v. Chicago Bulls
Looking back at Jordan’s many must-see matchups, his battle with Dominic Wilkins cannot be ignored. Against one of the most important players in Atlanta Hawks history, Jordan averaged 31.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 45 games. Instead, Wilkins averaged 29.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game against Michael Jordan in his career. When the two face off, it’s a heavyweight title fight that you can relive in the Jordan Challenge.
1990 Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers
Jordan had a lot of great games against the Cavaliers, but the most impressive was a 69-point game.
In 50 minutes, Jordan had a masterclass in scoring, rebounding, and assists, and he finished with a career-high 69 points and 18 rebounds. Jordan hit consecutive jumpers, 23 of 23, and 21 of his free throws. Deliver one of the league’s most memorable moments by recreating his historic game.
1990 Eastern Conference Finals Game 3
In the early ’90s, the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons feuded, and their rivalry culminated in Game 3 of the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals. With a 1-1 tie in the Eastern Conference Finals series, Jordan pushed the Chicago Bulls to victory in the best way he knew, scoring 46 points and dishing out five steals. Jordan showed his talent amid deafening cheers from Chicago fans during the Eastern Conference heavyweight bout.
Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals
In the Finals, Jordan lifted his first Larry O’Brien trophy by defeating the “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers led by Magic Johnson. For 6 years, despite Jordan’s best efforts, the coveted championship trophy was missed.
The then-27-year-old shooting guard proved he could live up to the lofty expectations that were expected of him by beating a team full of Hall of Fame talent. Jordan impressed as streamers and confetti fell at his feet.
Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals
Jordan had an insatiable hunger for more rings after his first title. Jordan reached his second straight Finals, turning the game into garbage time early against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the score was clear by the end of the first half. MJ’s 39-point win was a major contributor to the Bulls’ 33-point rout.
1995 Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks
The former college opponents faced off again, this time at the basketball mecca of Madison Square Garden. Jordan and Patrick Ewing were a feast in the eyes of fans, especially when they were at their peak in a game of goals and physical confrontation. Ewing’s 36 points are usually enough to beat any team, but Jordan’s 55 proved insurmountable. The game was another reminder of Jordan’s greatness; you can experience it for yourself.
Game 6 of the 1996 NBA Finals
Michael Jordan’s fourth championship title was arguably one of his toughest tests.
Every possession was a battle for both sides against Seattle SuperSonics defensive back Gary Payton (also known as “The Glove”). Payton did his best to limit Jordan throughout the series, successfully limiting his shooting to 26.3 percent in Game 6, but the offensive assassin found a way to thwart the Sonics’ championship plans. Dig deep and claim the title in tough battles against powerful enemies.
Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals
The famous “flu game” is legendary and widely regarded as one of Jordan’s best moments as a basketball player. In Game 5, the Bulls were passive from the start, trailing by as many as 16 points at one point. Somehow, Jordan managed to pull his team back from the brink of defeat and ultimately lead the game to victory. In the end, Jordan had 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. He left everything on the field.
1997 Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers
Bryant entered the NBA with similar momentum and confidence as Michael Jordan, but it remains to be seen whether he is Jordan’s heir. Kobe, who was admired by Jordan since childhood, challenged his idol throughout the game, determined to prove his ability.
The Lower Merion High School student had 33 points against Jordan and the Bulls, but Jordan’s 36 was a reminder that he’s still the ruler of the court. In the process of winning the championship, he taught the rising star Kobe something.
Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals
Both the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls thought their 1997 NBA Finals matchup wasn’t enough, so they met again in 1998. All but one of the games ended with 5 points or less, and Game 6 was the climax of the series. Jordan cemented his title with 45 points and knocked down Brian Russell with a deadly cross with 5 seconds left to score the game-winning shot with 5 seconds left. Relive those final lore moments and celebrate one of Jordan’s greatest feats.