Similar to other arcade basketball games of the 1990's (such as NBA Jam), Street Slam eschews rules and the simulation aspects for fast-paced arcade action. It includes some techniques such as faking shots/dunks, alley-oops and rebound dunks, pass interceptions and shot blocks, and a Super Shot meter that fills up over time (giving powerful dunks or guaranteed 3-point shots).
The game received home releases (outside of North America) on the Neo Geo AES in 1994 and Neo Geo CD in 1995. It also received an arcade-only sequel in 1995 exclusively in both Japan (as Dunk Dream '95) and Europe (as Data East's Hoops). Running on Data East's proprietary MLC System hardware, the sequel adds new camera zooming effects, four-player support, and new techniques (such as juking, fading, and using "Super Shot" defensively).
The original game was later digitally re-released worldwide for the Wii (via Virtual Console) by D4 on November 1, 2010 and for the Zeebo (ported by Onan and published by G-mode) in 2010. It was also released digitally as part of the ACA NeoGeo series (on November 9, 2017 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, using the Street Hoop naming for the North American release). The Wii version was also included in the 2010 retail compilation Data East Arcade Classics.
The game includes 10 teams to choose from, each with their own stats and outfit colors. In the North America version, each team represents a city in the United States. In other versions, each team represents a country.
- Boston (Korea) - Great at Dunks, good at Speed, average at 3-Point Shots, bad at Defense.
- Chicago (Japan) - Good at Dunks and Defense, average at 3-Point Shots and Speed.
- Dallas (Spain) - Good at 3-Point Shots and Defense, average at Dunks and Speed.
- Detroit (Germany) - Great at Defense, good at Dunks, bad at 3-Point Shots and Speed.
- Los Angeles (France) - Great at 3-Point Shots, good at Speed, average at Dunks, bad at Defense.
- Miami (England) - Good at Dunks and Defense, average at Speed and 3-Point Shots.
- New York (U.S.A.) - Great at Dunks, good at Speed, average at Defense, bad at 3-Point Shots.
- Philadelphia (Taiwan) - Great at 3-Point Shots, average at Speed and Defense, bad at Dunks.
- Phoenix (Italy) - Good at Dunks and Speed, average at 3-Point Shots and Defense.
- Seattle (China) - Great at 3-Point Shots, good at Defense, average at Dunks and Speed.