Six years later, NBA 2K still won’t let EA Sports live down the NBA Elite ‘Jesus’ glitch

Six years after the “Jesus Bynum” Glitch canceled EA Sports’ NBA game, NBA 2K’s makers still won’t let anyone forget.

Pictured (courtesy of Steve Noah and Operation Sports) is a “squad intro” in NBA 2K17 — one of several broadcast-style cinematics that players may choose for their team. Users can see it in the menu options of the NBA 2K17: The Prelude demo that became available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at the end of the week.

Word is that this particular squad intro may have been in the game before, but it’s the name of the animation — “The Glitch” — that catches the eye. It mimics the “Jesus Pose” glitch that killed NBA Elite 11 a week before launch in September 2010. NBA Elite 11, pitched as a complete reimagining of EA Sports’ long-running NBA series, launched a demo at the end of September 2010. A YouTuber captured a game in which the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum returned to mid-court and stood there in a mo-cap T-pose — “like (bleeping) Jesus.” Many factors sank the game, but this one was the most visible.

If this “squad intro” had any name other than “The Glitch” it could be written off as mo-cap actors and producers clowning around at the end of a long day. T-poses are common to anyone wearing ping-pong-ball suits. That title, though, makes it pretty damn deliberate.

NBA 2K17 launches Sept. 20. EA Sports says it will launch an NBA Live for consoles sometime in early 2017 but few who follow sports video games take that claim seriously, given how far EA’s franchise trails NBA 2K on consoles and how well it does on mobile platforms.

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