So, here it is, resurrected. My old NBA Live website, the NBA Live Domain.
While I’ve been running the NLSC since 2001 (when it was still the NBA Live Series Center, and I was still in my teens), and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do with it, I’ll always have a certain fondness for the site that I founded and ran for three years. It introduced me to the online NBA Live community, and ultimately got me the NLSC gig. It was a fun experience, and certainly a stepping stone.
I’ve recapped the history of the NBA Live Domain elsewhere, but the quick rundown is as follows: I created the site on Geocities in 1998, moving it a couple of times as I changed “neighbourhoods”. Eventually, Geocities offered vanity URLs based on your username, so the NLD became geocities.com/livedomain. It was a place where I provided my own coverage of the NBA Live series, in particular the patches I was making. The site managed to gain some popularity, I fostered a relationship with Tim, Lutz, and Brien over at the NLSC, and when Tim took the job with EA Sports, he asked if I’d be interested in taking over the site. Obviously, I was.
I initially tried to run the NBA Live Domain alongside the NBA Live Series Center, turning it into something of an “editor’s choice” site and retaining it as a personal side project. However, towards the end of 2001, it was clear that I was spreading myself too thin. I’d been sharing content between the two sites – like Webmaster News and the Midweek Patch Report – but I really needed to spend more time with the NLSC. The NLD was the smaller site, and becoming redundant.
So, in December 2001, I made the difficult decision to close down the NLD. Although it was the right thing to do, it was tough. I’d put a lot of time and effort into building up the site, and I was proud of what I’d done, keeping it updated regularly and developing all sorts of content. However, I spoke to a few people about it, including Tim, and sought their advice. Deciding it was for the best, I more or less folded the NLD, and focused entirely on the NLSC. After my farewell post, there was one further update – after an unfortunate incident with an overly enthusiastic fan who created an imposter site – but that was the last thing I did with the NBA Live Domain.
Until this year.
When I was thinking of things to do for the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, I had the idea one evening to relaunch the NBA Live Domain, as something of a museum site. It’s a relic of the time when NBA Live was the premiere basketball series, and there were quite a few fan fansites dedicated to it. For me, it’s a reminder of some really good times I had as a part of this community, being the endeavour that ultimately got me the NLSC job, which opened up even more opportunities. I remember the fun of all the re-designs from scratch, my excitement of hitting milestones in the daily traffic, and the satisfaction of putting out new content. In many ways, I think it helped me develop some of the work ethic and creativity I’d need upon completely dedicating myself to the NLSC.
And so, fuelled by nostalgia, I made this re-creation of the NBA Live Domain. This design is based heavily on the final layout I created for the NLD, with an updated banner that Arcane made, and a background from NBA Live 99; the one I had been using in the final NLD design wasn’t really suitable. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with the site – just leave it tucked away after having some fun with it, show it off as some kind of museum site, or make regular use of it – and to be honest, I’m still not exactly sure. Of course, since Arcane went to the trouble of whipping up a nice new banner, it seemed a shame not to show it off, so I decided I’d at least do that. Whether it’s simply a walk down memory lane, or something we can put to use in the future…well, we’ll just have to see.
It’s something I did on a lark as I was working on some other 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, but I’m glad that I did it. With Geocities shutting down, the original site is no longer online…though I do still have it in my backups. I’m glad that I’ve been able to incorporate elements of the NLD into the NLSC over the years, in the form of weekly columns and the like, so that in some way, the site can live on. And now, it lives on more directly, with this mini-relaunch. Gotta love that NBA Live action, indeed…