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NBA Jam on the Intellivision Amico

The Intellivision Amico is a brand new console inspired by the Mattel Intellivision of the 1980's. It hopes to bring families back together.

Original NBA Jam Title Screen



This article is about ideas I have for NBA Jam should it ever be made for the Intellivision Amico. This is not to say a game will be made in the future or is currently being worked on.

About NBA Jam

NBA games have been made before, with the first NBA licensed game actually being made for the original Intellivision in 1980.

Most of the games tried to be a basketball simulation whether it be a team game or a one-on-one game.

NBA Jam was different. It was an arcade style game which was a parody of basketball and included exaggerated movements and plenty of Easter eggs.

Initially, this was not an easy sell to the NBA as it was not serious basketball. But the folks at Midway were able to make it work.



NBA Jam has been known for gimmicks such as exaggerated dunks and being near unstoppable when on fire.

The game also had aesthetic gimmicks such as big head mode that add more fun to the game.

It also had hidden games and hidden characters you can get by entering certain codes and meeting certain conditions.

This is perfect for a company like Intellivision which owns a lot of intellectual properties. You can maybe have hidden mini games of either the classic or reimagined classics as mini games.



Tommy Tallarico, the President and CEO of Intellivision is the cousin of Steven Tyler aka Steven Tallarico of the legendary rock band Aerosmith.

If only Aerosmith can provide the music for NBA Jam and be playable characters as well.

Who wouldn't want to play as Aerosmith?

Tommy Tallarico


Tommy was a kid that liked to dream big.

His favorite system growing up was the Intellivision and he dreamed of being the president of the company.

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Fast forward a few decades and he is now the president and CEO of Intellivision.

He has mentioned in an interview that one of his favorite games growing up was also One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird.

Who knows? He might take basketball back to the Intellivision.

Tommy might also appear as a playable character in the game as an Easter egg.



One thing that the original NBA Jam was not able to deliver is it lacked retired legends. It did not have Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Julius Erving.

They only thing they had were active players.

Sure, a lot of people who appeared in the roster for the arcade game or the home versions became legends such as Patrick Ewing and Scottie Pippin. The original arcade version even had Shaquille O' Neil and Charles Barkley but the two were removed in the home editions due to contract issues.

The 2010 version of the game had a lot more legends and this is the right way to go.. The issue was there were contractual issues in acquiring the rights to the likenesses of the legends. Imagine a legends roster with no Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the Lakers and no Dikembe Mutombo for the Denver Nuggets.

If Intellivision manages to get a license to produce NBA Jam, hopefully Tommy Tallarico is able to use his vast connections in order to be able to get most if not all the necessary agreements to bring the players the people want in the game.

Imagine if you had a Lakers squad with the choices of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O' Neil, Pau Gasol, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor versus a Celtics Squad of Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Russell and Bob Cousy.

Imagine if Tommy can pull off the ultimate signing and get Michael Jordan as the cover and spokesperson for the game.

Michael Jordan has never been in a publicly released version of the game.

Roster Sizes


The original NBA Jam in the arcades had only 2 players to choose from. The later iterations had 4-5 players in each roster. Though this provides a fair selection, it does not provide enough satisfaction given that some teams have had so many good to great players through league history. The Lakers and Celtics for example have dozens of excellent players to choose from.

Why not have a roster of 10-12 players per team?



NBA Jam not only allowed you to play as your favorite NBA player but you could also play as celebrities such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Will Smith and Barack Obama.

Why stop there? Why couldn't you play as Thanos or Spiderman? Or maybe yet, play as the Monstars from Space Jam.

Mix and Match


The problem with real life teams is we don't have a time machine that pairs up the best players of the past and the present. Imagine if you stack a Philadelphia 76ers with Wilt Chamberlain, Joel Embiid, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving and Allen Iverson or a Chicago Bulls team of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Rose, Artis Gilmore and Dennis Rodman.

You should also be allowed to trade for players available in the game to form your own Dream Team.

Multiplayer Mode


The most NBA Jam has been able to do is four players as it is traditionally a 2-on-2 game. However with the multiplayer capabilities of the Intelliviison Amico, you can be able to play 1-0n-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3, 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 with bots just controlling any non human players.

This provides a unique experience and added dimension to this beloved classic.

© 2020 Jan Michael Ong

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