The BIG3 basketball league has re-introduced the idea of hard-nosed, bang down low basketball. One with former NBA stars and lots of nostalgia. While we enjoy the flash and marksman shooting of today’s NBA, some people want the era of the bad boys of Detroit and the show time Lakers to return. Ice Cube being a long time basketball fan could possibly yearn for the old days of gritty basketball. Presently, he is one of the masterminds behind the BIG3 basketball league. The idea hit Ice Cube after he saw one of Kobe Bryant’s historic performances. The ideas spiraled after Kobe dropped 60 points in his last NBA game before retiring. As a result, Ice Cube believed that there were still NBA retirees that had ceaseless athleticism and skills left in them.
The early beginnings
Ice Cube teamed up with his business partner and long-time friend, Jeff Kwatinetz. The two business partners came together to induct Roger Mason Jr. as the commissioner of the league. Furthermore, BIG3 basketball was met with skepticism at first but has developed into a sensation in the eyes of many. It would not be booming if it were not for the big names of former NBA players. Therefore, it would become a dream come true if Kobe Bryant took part in this project next year.
Rulebook of the League
Ultimately, the league had a live draft on Facebook in Las Vegas. The games launched at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn on June 25, 2017. The season came to an end at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26th which was the site of the BIG3 Championship game. NBA veterans were the prospects and made their debut once again. There is no age requirement in this league, the youngest player was 29 years old. However, most of the players’ ages ranged from 30 to 40. Each game consisted of three on three basketball. Above all, when one team scored 30 points, it was the start of halftime. Afterwards, whichever team reached 60 points first, will win. Furthermore, it was played in half-court formation and ranged past the three-point line which was a four-point shot.
Relationship to FIBA 3×3 Basketball
Altogether, it was a prosperous 10 week season that was active during the summer. The scheduled games were intended to unveil in cities around the United States. Most of the games were in some cities that do not have an NBA team representing them. BIG3 basketball is a variation on the FIBA 3×3 Basketball. The FIBA 3×3 has already had European and FIBA 3×3 World championships. It will also be on the program of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It is a mix of urban streetball and professional basketball. There are also some rules differences between the BIG3 and FIBA’s 3×3 Basketball. If the BIG3 league ever wants to be recognized by the FIBA and USA Basketball, the rules have to be in sync.
- FIBA 10 minute game/BIG 3no time limit
- FIBA No half-time/BIG3 must reach 30 points for half-time
- FIBA Game over at 21 points/BIG 3 First to 60 points wins
- FIBA Field Goals:1 or 2 points/BIG 3 2 or 3 points AND 4 point shot beyond 30 feet of the basket
The building of the teams
There were 10 games in 10 different cities which launched in Brooklyn then, Charlotte, Tulsa, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Lexington, Los Angeles, Seattle, and lastly, Las Vegas. There were many all-stars drafted and teamed up together. However, the most anticipated comeback was Allen Iverson. He actually managed to get suspended by the league after a no-show in Louisville. Other players had to try-out and see if they were still basketball ready. Furthermore, there were 8 total teams with raw and tenacious labels. There were many NBA veteran greats such as the underrated, Rashard Lewis who was elected as the MVP for this year’s season.
Is BIG3 basketball a fan magnet?
Successively, the season opener topped 15,000 fans which involved many Hollywood celebrities and other big names from the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, the games were not televised at first. Nevertheless, the games created great potential for a record-breaking number of fans. There was anticipation and excitement that comes with former NBA stars showcasing their talent and bringing old-school basketball back to the fans. In addition, supporters were able to witness physical and aggressive contact. On top of it all, the veterans were actually in near immaculate shape but the games were too stretched out. The debut game took a total of almost six hours! The fans were able to experience each game by choosing between standard nose-bleed tickets at $41 to courtside tickets starting at $495. The tickets sales were through the roof, throughout the season.
Talent reaps the financial benefits
Players received a certain percentage of profits share which made the games more competitive. That did not include the extra money they would earn which depended on the team’s progression in the playoffs. All in all, some of the players were determined to potentially resuscitate their career where others were compelled by money. Many people believed that BIG3 basketball consisted of washed-up NBA players that did not make it. In some cases this was true, but overall there were enough big names in this league. Clearly, there were some major changes in ages and physiques but the athleticism and trash talk did not diminish at all.
Future boost to the BIG3?
Trilogy finished the inaugural BIG3 season a perfect 10-0, defeating 3 Headed Monsters 51-46 on Sunday to win the championship. Rashad McCants was named the championship MVP, finishing with 22 points while shooting 55 percent from the field. He also broke the game’s 46-46 tie with the title on the line by scoring the final five points. While the finals moved to make room for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout, Saturday was the perfect way for the start-up traveling league to make one final impression. As usual, major celebrities and names showed up on the sidelines. As so often, it is an opportunity for them to see and be seen. In a festive spirit they shake hands, exchange hugs, network, do business, and enjoy a night out. What happens on the court is irrelevant. It’s a sideshow of something bigger; showbiz!
Certainly, co-founder Ice Cube sees room for growth, and for improvement.
“I think our players got to get better. We caught them off guard this year. Next year they should be ready. We have a resume now, pretty much, so other players who were kind of waiting on the sidelines, hopefully, they’ll see this is cool and they’ll want to be a part of the BIG3.”
As stated before Ice Cube hopes Kobe Bryant will join the BIG3 and If the league can continue to attract former stars, then the future looks bright. Fox Sports has also agreed to broadcast the games next season.