Players: Kevin Martin, Yao Ming and Trevor Ariza
Legends: Hakeem Olajuwon and Kenny Smith
As with Courtney Lee's presence on New Jersey's roster in the Wii version, EA had to complete production before Ariza was dealt to New Orleans in a four-team deal in August that also featured Lee. So subbing him out for, say, Aaron Brooks will be possible only in EA's "NBA Elite 11" simulation title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that will include a downloadable version of "NBA Jam." The consolation: Hakeem and Kenny The Jet are back together, just like they were in arcades in '93, which means you can test out Dream and a supersized Yao as a tag team just for fun ... or see if Suns legend Kevin Johnson can recreate his signature throwdown over Dream from 1994.
I don't care about the late roster or completion of production or anything: why the hell was Trevor Ariza considered one of the Rockets' top three players in the first place? Would you not enjoy seeing Luis Scola's hair fly beautifully through the air as the Slayer went for a monster jam? This is painful to even comprehend. I mean, if not Brooks, it HAD to be Scola.
As for the legends, I can live with them, because that's the way it was originally. And after some thought, I'd say Kenny Smith is a good choice - then and now. Perhaps Vernon Maxwell or Clyde the Glyde would have worked better, but Drexler qualifies for Portland as much as Houston, and Maxwell is the less popular of the two.
Whatever. Yao and The Dream, together, are going to make the other 29 teams question their manhood.