How to Break the Glass in "NBA Jam"

By Dylan Kennedy

Updated September 22, 2017

All the incarnations of the popular
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"NBA Jam" is a popular arcade-style basketball franchise originally created by the Midway company. The game began as an arcade game in the early to mid-'90s and later became a successful series of home console games and sequels. "NBA Jam" places a premium on high-speed play and exciting offensive skills such as dunking in its 2 on 2 format. At times, a player can shatter the glass of the backboard while dunking. Each version of the game (the original arcade game, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Boy and the 2010 adaptation for XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii) allows for the possibility of breaking the glass.

Select a player known for dunking abilities. Older versions of the game will allow any player to break the glass (and possibly more often), but the 2010 version generally requires players such as LeBron James or Dwight Howard to be used.

Wait until the second half of the game. The computer only allows the glass to be broken after the first half and almost always in the fourth quarter, although it is possible in the third quarter. The glass most often breaks with a minute or less remaining in the fourth quarter.

Dunk from the furthest back you can. Dunks from the three point line or just inside of it result in a higher percentage of backboard breaks. Try to dunk as often as possible in the fourth quarter and near the end of the game.

Alley-oop the ball to your player while he's in the air to increase the chances of the glass breaking. Have the drone player on your team pass the ball to you while you are in the air and then dunk it.

Use power ups in the newer editions of the game. Both power ups and hot spots may increase the likelihood of the glass breaking.

Dunk the ball late in the game when you are on fire. After the same player makes three shots in a row, he is said to be "on fire." You'll notice that he begins to glow and flames shoot off him. After being on fire, dunk the ball from just inside the three point line.


Many gamers now believe that the glass backboard shatters at random; although it's true the feat can only be achieved at certain times and the likelihood can be increased, the computer has ultimate control of when the backboard breaks.