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NBA 08 features volume three of "The Life" series that concludes and revolves around a coach by the name of "Coach T" as his career is winding down. The player takes control of a player for Coach T. with the ability to choose from five different characters depending on the position they want to play or create their own with 60 different scenarios to participate in.
The game follows a realistic view of basketball by attending news conferences, signing endorsements, interact with fellow players and coaches and rivals as well. The decisions determines how the player is viewed as either a team player or a lone troublemaker. Depending on how their player performs during games, they can receive attribute points to strengthen their players.
There is also a Smart Shot Indicator, which has a color indication before a player takes a shot at the basket, letting them know how hard the defense is pressing and the likely hood of missing or completing the shot.
The game features updated animation and a feeling of a real broadcast on television featuring the voice talents of Kevin Calabro and Mark Jackson. There are minigames to compete in, like 3-Point Shootout and the Playstation Skill Challenge and online capabilities where players can compete head-to-head or in tournaments.