The NBA playoff finals are here and, for the third year in a row, the Cleveland Cavaliers are taking on the Golden State Warriors.
The Cavs taking on the Warriors isn’t surprising, with experts and algorithms predicting the matchup since before the season began. One of the newest previews for the finals, however, comes from TomoNews US, a Taiwanese-American animation studio that creates satirical videos. In the studio’s NBA previews video, the Warriors seem to be the emerging champs, but the best part about the animation takes place at the very beginning.
Before even stepping out onto the court, the Cavs’ LeBron James and the Warriors’ Steph Curry are sitting on a couch, playing a game of Double Dribble. Developed by Konami and released in 1986 as an arcade game, Double Dribble quickly became known for its glitch-style slam dunk sequences. In 1987, the game was ported to the NES and that’s the version that James and Curry can be seen playing in the video above.
At first, Curry has the advantage over LeBron, getting up and dancing with the oversized controller as his team takes the lead.
But it’s not until a little later that James makes a comeback, defeating a weeping Curry. The video also introduces a competitive Kevin Durant, who joined the Warriors this season.
Perhaps most importantly, the video makes reference to one of the most popular aspects of Double Dribble — the artsy dunk sequence. Made to look like a glitch, compilations of these dunks have amassed on YouTube. When the game was first released, Allgame called it “the beginning of a new era for sports games in which presentation played an increasingly important role,” specifically calling out the cool dunk style.
“Once you get a glimpse of the innovative, cinema-style dunk attempts, there's no denying its place in history,” the review read.
It’s important to note that while Curry and James are going up against one another in the animation, Double Dribble only had four playable teams when it was released: the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics. Although the Cavaliers were founded in 1970 and the Warriors moved to the Bay Area in 1962, officially becoming the Golden State Warriors instead of the San Francisco Warriors in 1971, neither team were a playable option in the game.
The NBA finals kickoff tonight with game one in Oakland, California at 6 p.m. PT.