NBA Superstars wasn’t just a VHS tape. It was a sublime exhibition of golden era basketball at the highest level.
Alright, that’s the nostalgia talking. However the above description isn’t that far off the mark. I hold NBA Superstars in such high regard because it played a key part in getting me interested in basketball. I watched the tape damn near everyday along with practicing tomahawks on our Fisher Price hoop. That’s all I needed as a preschooler not quite ready to digest full games on TV.
The short, grainy reels matched with an undeniably 80’s soundtrack seems funny now but their unintended humor adds to the video’s replay value. Such is especially true on Michael Jordan’s and Dominique Wilkins’ montage’s over Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Yanni’s “Looking Glass” respectively. At the same time both segments are still effective in capturing what made those players so special.
NBA Superstar also did a number on me when it comes to song association. I can’t imagine Janet Jackson’s “Control” to this day without Magic Johnson’s laser sharp passes. The tape introduced me to Kool Moe Dee’s “How Ya Like Me Now:” one of the first rap records I memorized…well at least two thirds of it. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” remains linked to Dr. J’s graceful play. Also, who could forget “Teddy’s Jam?”
The NBA and Sports Illustrated made a series out of NBA Superstars yet none of them came close to matching the original’s quality. Once again, blame rose-tinted shades for my conclusion but I’m just keeping it 100. NBA Superstars didn’t rock all the bells and whistles seen in today’s sports reels. Nevertheless, it stands out because it chronicled the some of the best players ever with a fitting soundtrack. Now please excuse me as I make another futile attempt towards finding my tape.