NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC is a descendant of the original NBA Jam, and is created by some of the key team members. The game follows in the footsteps of NFL Blitz, featuring the option to save personal records and a cheat code system operated by pressing a sequence of buttons. It also features unlock-able characters, including NBA team mascots, and the "On-Fire" option that defines Midway's sports games. Players are able to perform special moves such as the alley-oop, the spin move, and the double dunk. The game also features a Create-a-Player mode that allows custom players to have tweaked abilities by winning matches.
NBA Showtime debuted as an arcade game featuring rosters from the 1998-99 NBA season as well as secret characters based on the Universal Monsters. The later home console ports of the game use updated rosters for the 1999-2000 season and lacks the Universal Monsters characters. An arcade update was released in 2000 with refreshed rosters as NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC - Gold Edition.