In 1993 the NBA was on the top of the sports world! Michael Jordan and The Chicago Bulls were on their way to their first three-peat, the Dream Team had dominated the globe in the Barcelona Olympics the summer before and the slam dunk was the most exciting play in sports! Not one to pass on a golden opportunity the NBA created the Jam Session brand.
The first item I remember from this marketing initiative was the "NBA JAM SESSION" VHS tape! It had highlights from the best players in the league at the time. Everyone from Karl Malone to Harold Miner to Alonzo Mourning was featured on this mixtape. I remember going to our local mom & pop rental store, "Video Sights & Sounds" just so we could rent this tape! Now as an adult, I own my own copy. I found this baby at Goodwill for about a quarter. If you ever see one out in the wild for a cheap price, I highly recommend you pick it up! Another thing came from this brand that cemented the world of hip-hop culture with the NBA. This informal partnership led to the next item on my list...
The freakin' "NBA JAM SESSION" album!!! I used to listen to this on my Walkman all the time, especially on trips to basketball practice or basketball camps. There are some pretty big names for the time on here and some pretty fresh cuts!
The talent roster included Bell Biv DeVoe, Heavy D, Notorious B.I.G., Bobby Brown and Wreckx-N-Effect! Not too shabby for an NBA mix tape. I bought this CD online for about $1 and put it on in the house from time to time so I can relive those athletic golden years when my team in NJ went on to win 2 championships in 3 years. Over that span, we only lost one game and got to go to the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford to watch the Nets play as a reward for our hard work. Because of this I was able to see some of the "JAM SESSION" stars in person like Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O'Neal and David Robinson.
The only thing cooler than the soundtrack album quite possibly was the "NBA JAM SESSION" cards that were randomly inserted into the '92-'93 Fleer Ultra packs. I loved checking out the stats on the back and seeing how many jams the top players in the league had amassed over the years. Who knew the Admiral had 155 dunks during the '91-'92 season? Recently and sadly though the dunk has fallen out of flavor in the NBA. The All-Star Dunk Contest has become mediocre and thanks to the Golden State Warriors, the 3-pointer has become the shot of choice around the league. One day the dunk will again reign supreme, but until that day comes you can relive the glory days of the 90s NBA by watching the "NBA JAM SESSION" highlight tape in all it's glory in the video below!!!