Back on January 11th, rapper, actor and entrepreneur Ice Cube announced that he’d be launching a basketball league called the Big 3, which would feature former NBA greats competing in 3-on-3 matchups. At that inaugural event, Cube brought out Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson as the headline performer that would both work as a coach and player. Alongside Iverson, the Big 3 will feature NBA stars like Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams.
While the league featured some of the best players of yesteryear, the actual games would look nothing like your typical NBA or D-League game. Rather than having the action take place in a full 94-foot court, the games would take place in a half-court. Coinciding with that, these are some of the other major rules for the Big 3.
- Alongside your standard 2 and 3 point shots, players could shoot a 4 point shot from a spot well behind your standard 3-point line
- There is no defensive “3 second” rule
- No game clock. halftime comes when one team reaches 30 points.
- First team to 60 points wins (must win by 4 points)
- A shooting foul will receive the number of shots correspondin to the missed attempt (2, 3 and 4 points)
- No make it, take it. After a made shot, the referee must touch the ball. After giving the defense three seconds to set, the opposing team must take ball beyond the top out of bounds. Player has five seconds to return the ball inbounds.
- Defensive rebounds have to be cleared, by steals and airballs don’t.
Here’s an example of how the court will look, including the location of the 4-point spots.
Although the Big 3 stood out with their cast of NBA legends and creative rules, they still needed a crop of players that can actually shine when the league tips off on June 25th. The league to fill that lone on Sunday when they held their first annual draft in Las Vegas. Matching with the excitement of Vegas, the Big 3 went all out on draft day as they streamed the festivities on Facebook Live with Michael Rapaport and Ice Cube entertaining the masses.
However, things truly start to pop when the actual draft results came in, as a slew of talented players were selected to the eight individual squads. As apparent from the list below, the drafted players featured a boatload of former D-League talent. For example, Tri-State selected Northern Arizona Suns guard Xavier Silas, who put up 15.4 points per game on 43% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc during this prior season.
Alongside Silas, multiple Big 3 squads feature a trifecta of D-League alums. D-League alums James White and Rashad McCants will join current Grand Rapids Drive assistant coach Dion Glover on Trilogy, who will be led by Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington.
While both of those squads should entertain D-League fans, the best NBADL-centric squad is definitely the Ball Hogs. Aside from head coach Rick Barry, the Ball Hogs’ talent is filled with players with D-League experience.
Starting out, the team’s captain and co-captain include former Santa Cruz Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine and Texas Legends forward Josh Childress. Filling out the remainder of the roster includes former Santa Cruz Warriors forward Dominic McGuire, 2014 NBADL Impact Player of the Year Rasual Butler and Derrick Byars, who has actually wrote a piece for this very site.
Even when you look away from the great crop of former D-Leaguers, the Big 3 looks like a solid way to fill that huge summer hole for basketball fans. Tipping off on June 25th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, the Big 3 will be airing their games live on Fox Sports 1 on every Monday night until the title game on August 26th.