Monster Mash A new DVD lets pro basketball fans mix and match body parts to create the mythical ultimate player

May 20, 2001

Imagine spark generators crackling, thunder rumbling off the
walls and lightning piercing the sky as you toil to create the
NBA's perfect being. While you may not start yelling, "It's
alive! It's alive!" NBA Ultimate Player (NBA Entertainment,
$22.95), a fun DVD/ROM that goes on sale on Tuesday, will put
you in the role of a Dr. Frankenstein creating the uber Dr. J.
You are given eight body parts (head, eyes, mouth and hair,
heart, arms, hands, legs and feet) and, for each part, a choice
of 10 NBA stars. Choosing one player for each part, you
construct your dream player. We combined Bill Russell's head,
Magic Johnson's eyes, Julius Erving's hair (we mean the
early-career afro), Michael Jordan's heart, Kevin McHale's arms,
Larry Bird's hands, Charles Barkley's legs and Allen Iverson's
feet. According to the DVD's program, this hybrid's stats line
would be a well-rounded 22.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists
and 2.05 steals a game. We chose Russell (left in photo,
jousting with longtime rival Wilt Chamberlain), who averaged
only 15.1 points in a 13-year Celtics career, instead of a
player who's more impressive statistically, such as Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, because of another Russell stat: 11 titles.

"We've toyed with this around the office for years," says Larry
Weitzman, vice president of multimedia production and
programming for NBA Entertainment. "The technology finally
caught up to the idea." In addition to the Ultimate Player
program, the 58-minute video portion of the DVD provides you
with highlights footage for each of the eight body parts, from
Bob Cousy's no-look passes (eyes section) to Vince Carter's
dunks (legs). The ROM portion of the DVD (to operate it, you
need a Mac or a PC) offers video animation diagrams for some
famous plays, such as the pick-and-roll of the Jazz's John
Stockton and Karl Malone, and more than 200 photos.

--John O'Keefe

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR.
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)