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BIG 3: What we saw in Week 1 of the new 3-on-3 league

A short intro to the league of our own.

So, I’m going to watch and follow Ice Cube’s BIG 3 league this summer, and if you want to do so with me, you should, because it will be fun, and sometimes silly, and sometimes dumb, but all around good.

WHAT ARE THE BEST RULES IN BIG 3?

This is a good question.

  1. There’s a 4-Point Shot. This isn’t one of the best rules because it’s a good rule. In fact, quite the opposite. This is one of the best rules because it’s actually an extremely dumb rule.
  2. You can’t foul out. This is just extremely smart. No one wants to see Brian Scalabrine foul out Allen Iverson by trying to post him up every play. That sounds terrible. Let’s let Iverson hack whoever is trying to post him up until they stop trying.
  3. You have to clear the ball if, and only if, the ball touches the rim. This allows for really crafty smart playing, which you need in a half court setting.
  4. The bench is at the back of the court. Imagine Stephen Jackson sitting on the bench at the back of the court talking shit during one of these games. Can you imagine it? I just tried and then I fainted.

WHO ARE YOU (read: “WE”) GOING TO ROOT FOR?

This question is actually extremely tough for me (though, it’s not actually that tough by the end of it).

For starters, Allen Iverson is my favorite athlete of all time across any sport. I think he is important to the world, and I think that if more people thought that way the world would be a better place. Iverson is going to coach his team, 3’s Company, and the other players are Dermarr Johnson, Andre Owens, Mike Sweetney, Ruben Patterson, and Al Thornton. The only name I recognize on that team besides Iverson is Thornton. So, pass.

Then I thought about Tri-State, led by captain Jermaine O’Neal and coach Julius Erving. Bonzi Wells and Xavier Silas are also on Tri-State, which is important because for one, Bonzi Wells played for the Rockets, and two, I knew Xavier Silas when I was a kid.

BUT, end of the day, I (we) have to root for Power. Cuttino Mobely is a co-captain of Power. Clyde Drexler is the coach of Power. MOOCHIE NORRIS IS A PLAYER FOR POWER.

That’s it. The decision’s been made. If you’re a Houston Rockets fan, you’re a Power fan. End of story.

WHO HAS THE BEST JERSEY IN BIG 3?

Killer 3’s, pretty easily.

WHO HAS THE WORST JERSEY IN BIG 3?

Ball Hogs, pretty easily. Those colors and fonts are gross.

WHAT HAPPENED IN BIG 3 THIS WEEK?

Here is a running list of notes I took during Big 3 Monday night:

  • Oh no... Gus Johnson is announcing.
  • Oh God... they’re going to keep playing this Ice Cube Big 3 song aren’t they (spoiler: ya, yes, yes they did do that.)
  • These games are mostly not good basketball, but you get down to the wire and it’s pretty close, and then all of the sudden you’re really into it. The crowd is really into it. The players are really into it. This could actually work...

Here are my notes from the first game, Ghost Ballers vs. 3 Headed Monsters

  • Mike Bibby versus Jason Williams was a cool idea for the first game. Two good, old point guards is smart, especially considering these two guys were traded for each other back in the day. Jason Williams seems like the type of player you want in this league. You need a guy who can handle and pass without having to be very fast to be good.
  • UPDATE: Jason Williams is injured and won’t be back this summer. Father Time stay undefeated.
  • This is the best Kwame Brown has ever played.
  • These dudes are so gassed they can’t make free throws.
  • I have no gauge if Rashard Lewis’ stats were any good, but 27 out of 61 points seems very good.

Here are my notes from the second game, Tri-State vs. POWER YES LETS GO POWER

  • Cuttino Mobely is still a great shooter. It took him a second to find his rhythm, but once he did it was a whole new game.
  • Not a coincidence that James Harden walked in the gym during the Power game.
  • Also not a coincidence that the power in my house went down during the Power game.
  • Deshawn Stevenson went 5-10 from three and hit the game winner. This was legitimate fun. You, of course, remember Deshawn Stevenson... He’s the guy who said he would lock up LeBron James in one of his first playoff series, and then Lebron put up like 30 a night.

They cut up the Iverson game, I’m assuming, because not much cool happened. The last game, Killer 3s vs. Trilogy, was hard-nosed, but not great basketball. That said...

ARE THERE WAYS TO IMPROVE BIG 3 BASKETBALL?

I have a few suggestions

  1. Get rid of Gus Johnson, obviously, but get rid of the announcers altogether. Put a mic on the captain and coach of every team. There’s a tape delay on the games, so you can just bleep any cursing. The most fun part about attending, say, a Harlem Globetrotters game is that there is running commentary from the wily vet for the whole game. Big 3 has an opportunity here to do something the NBA can’t, and they should take it.
  2. So other than Jason Williams, some others also got a little hurt. No serious injuries, but this is a legitimate worry. If there is just a roving tour of old guys getting hurt, that isn’t going to work. No one wants to pay money to see that. I don’t know how you fix this.
  3. This league needs to last -- and, relative to other FS1 programming, thrive — because there are lots of retired NBA players that would be massive fun in this league. What if we get Tracy McGrady out there? What if Kobe decides he’s up for it? Suddenly, this league gets even more fun.

I have more, but I’ll save them for another time. This article is already far too long anyway. Next week, I’ll get more into these suggestions and get more comfortable with deciding Power Rankings.

I’m going to keep watching Big 3 and rooting for Power like they’re the home team, and you should watch with me! The Big 3 travels to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. next Sunday, and the games air Monday at 7 p.m. CT.

P.S.

If you’d like to buy Power gear (read: buy me, Colin Ainsworth, Power gear), you can do so here: https://store.big3.com/