The Big3 Basketball League
A stocky veteran point guard moves the ball up the court. His jersey ripples across the arena as the fans roar his name. This all-star has had an acclaimed career. He’s a mentor and a captain.
He’s a legend … but his knees can’t take it anymore. He retires. He loves the game, and he swears he’s still got something in the tank. What does he do?
If he’s got his finger on the pulse, he calls West Coast rap icon and movie star Ice Cube. In early 2017, Ice Cube and his business partners founded BIG3 basketball, a 3-on-3 professional eight-team league comprised of NBA greats.
The Half-Court Story
The inaugural 10-week season kicks off June 25, 2017, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The BIG3 operates as a touring travel league, playing in arenas across the country. Sundays will be game days, structured as a league wide event with all eight teams competing (four games per day) under the same roof. Game format will be played on a half-court, with three players to a side. The creators of the BIG3 have done away with the tip off and instituted a “do-or-die” half-court shootout to determine initial possession.
So how did the BIG3 come about? Ice Cube dreamed up the idea of getting his favorite retired NBA stars back on the court. The generation of players involved in the BIG3 includes some of the most electric competitors the NBA has ever seen. These are players Ice Cube followed throughout their entire careers, all of whom are still vibrant enough to compete on a national stage. The league will become a reality this June thanks to co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz (media production CEO); president and commissioner Roger Mason Jr. (former first deputy executive director for the National Basketball Players Association); and CEO Amy Trask (former Oakland Raiders CEO).
As the league tours around the country, teams are not designated by a hometown host city. Instead, each five-man team has a moniker and head coach. The founding eight teams, coaches, and star players of the BIG3 are:
With a league packed with former All-Stars and NBA champions, the BIG3 has created a new platform for fans to reconnect with the players they grew up cheering. Some of the league’s human highlight reels include:
Allen Iverson, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, primarily with the Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson, the 1997 NBA Rookie of the Year and 2001 NBA MVP, was a transcendent ballhandler and clutch scorer.
Chauncey Billups is a 17-year NBA veteran and 2004 NBA Finals champion and MVP.
Kenyon Martin was a member of the 2001 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was selected for the 2004 Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Jermaine O’Neal battled in the paint for 18 years in the NBA, racking up six All-Star team selections.
Jason Williams is known for having the best “handles” of all time. His talent for ballhandling and deception were unparalleled for 12 seasons in the NBA.
It’s also worth noting one of the most mythic performers in NBA history – Dr. J himself – is coaching team Tri-State, led by the aforementioned big man Jermaine O’Neal.
The BIG3 has a unique set of rules and points system. Some of the more interesting league rules include:
- Exclusive 4-point shots when a player is touching ANY PART of the “4-Point Circle”
- The first team to 60 points wins
- Halftime happens after a team scores 30 points
- A team must win by four points
- The ball is cleared when the player with the ball establishes both feet behind the 3-point line
This summer is going to be a nonstop highlight for basketball fans as the BIG3 league rolls across the country. Here’s what the inaugural 2017 schedule looks like
June 25: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
July 2: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
July 9: BOK Center, Tulsa, OK
July 16: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
July 30: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
August 6: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
August 13: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
August 20: KeyArena, Seattle, WA (playoff round)
August 26: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV (Championship Finals)
With international celebrity Ice Cube at the helm of the BIG3 basketball league, its inaugural season beginning this summer is guaranteed to excite. He’s assembled a rock star roster of players and coaches ranging from NBA legends to former Rookies of the Year to career All-Stars and NBA champions.
Catch the Action
With the BIG3’s first tour making stops in nine major cities, fans around the country have the opportunity to see the action firsthand. Imagine sitting down to Allen Iverson versus Jason Williams again, in a battle of crossovers and pull-up jumpers! Who doesn’t want to see Bibby and Billups battle beyond the arc one more time? Grab your vintage gear at Fanatics.com and be sure to tune in June 2017 to catch all the star-studded 3-on-3 action.