The sports world in North America works similar to a calendar. We have the NFL to dominate the fall and early winter months. MLB is all alone as the sport of the summer. The NBA and NHL work through the late fall, entire winter, spring and early summer months. Basketball as a sport is more popular than hockey in the United States. That makes it a difficult process for the true basketball fans to transition away from the season ending. The NBA Championship, draft and free agent process all fly by with a long break before the next season ends.
Current actor and former hip hop star Ice Cube is an avid basketball star and decided it was time to start a secondary league completely separate from the NBA. Big 3 features veterans and former NBA stars competing in 3 on 3 basketball games. The first season of the Big 3 will begin on June 25th shortly after the NBA Finals. It will take place in Barclays Center with a lot of hype. We'll look at all of the reasons why you should be excited and optimistic about the inaugural season of Ice Cube’s Big 3.
15 4 Point Shot
The three-point shot in the NBA is one of the most exciting aspects of the game. Stephen Curry shooting it from beyond the three-point line has made some wonder if the league should ever consider a four-point shot. Big 3 being a new and fun promotion allow them the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. One of those changes will be the introduction of the four-point circle.
14 Cool Uniforms & Team Names
Big 3 have revealed the team names and logos of six teams at this point. The uniforms will look great with merchandise already being sold for some of the teams. 3’s Company, 3 Headed Monsters, Tri-State, Trilogy, Killer 3s and Ghost Ballers are the teams that have been announced so far. Each team currently has two former NBA stars on the roster with a draft coming to form the rest of the teams.
13 Only 5 Members Per Roster
One of the more annoying aspects of the NBA for the average fan is remembering all of the players on a team. Twelve members of the roster and players coming in and out frequently make it hard for the new or casual fan to keep track of everyone. Big 3 will only put rosters of five stars on each team. It's designed to keep the top stars on the court for the majority of the game and keep rosters memorable.
12 TV Deal
The early reaction to the Big 3 announcement was laughter and the belief was that nothing would come from it. Everyone expected it to be a side promotion that would be in smaller venues and wouldn’t find its way to television. Ice Cube shocked the world with the recent announcement of a television deal with Fox Sports.
11 Rare Momentum For A New League
It is extremely difficult for a new league to find relevance and momentum. The NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL are the major team leagues in the United States and nothing of the similar sports have been able to take off. Ice Cube finding the magic to get a television deal and fan interest for a new league is extremely impressive.
10 Weekly Games Rather Than Nightly
The best thing going for the NFL is the schedule. Fans love giving one full day of attention to a specific league. Ice Cube is stealing that idea of having all four games take place on the same day. The idea is also meant to keep the players fresh and able to compete every week. NBA veterans find their way out of the league due the aging process making it impossible for them to keep up with the grind.
9 Interesting Coaches
Only three former NBA stars have been named as coaches for the upcoming Big 3 season. All names are very interesting choices that could add to the stories and excitement of the new league. Allen Iverson will be a player and the head coach for 3’s Company.
8 Faster & Shorter Games
Ice Cube is hoping to play games at a faster pace and end it rather quickly. The games will be designed to last less than an hour in real time. Big 3 hopes to have four games take place over a time block of four hours. The rules set in place have been designed specifically to ensure the game moves at a fast pace and not stop the clock as often as the NBA does.
7 No Foul Outs
The smaller roster means some things will have to change from the standard fundamentals of basketball. One huge change is the Big 3 will not foul players out after their sixth personal foul. Instead of foul outs, the opposing team will get a bonus once you commit five team fouls in a half. Following the fifth team foul, the opposing team shoots two free throws and retains possession of the foul.
6 First Team To Score 60 Wins
The biggest addition to the rules that is drastically different from the NBA and designed to speed up the game is a point limit. Big 3’s team wins will be decided by whoever is first to score 60 points wins. Halftime will take place after one of the teams reaches 30 points. If the teams are struggling to score, there will be a time limit of 30 total minutes with the leading team getting the win.
5 Ice Cube's Involvement
The track record of Ice Cube speaks for itself. No one would have predicted the most hardcore rapper of his time could go on to become a huge star in family films. Younger people are only familiar with Ice Cube with his acting work. The beginning of his career in the mainstream came with the influential rap group N.W.A.
The biggest thing the Big 3 will have going for them is the fun. We all love the NBA but it takes itself too seriously at times. The seriousness definitely adds to the intensity of the NBA Playoffs so it does pay off in the long run. However, the inability to have wacky fun at times takes away from the nightly games. Big 3 is predicated around the entertaining aspects of the game.
3 Summer Content For Hoops Fans
Life is tough for basketball fans once the NBA Playoffs end. The NBA Draft and free agent period both give some entertainment value but they're so short. Big 3 adds something for those of us that don’t enjoy baseball. No one cares about the Summer League games of the NBA. Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups in the Big 3 will provide more value than second round draft picks getting acclimated to the NBA.
2 Familiar Faces
The basketball world is different from other sports in the form of the Superstar. NBA stars have more of a profile than NFL and MLB stars due to the focus on the individual performances. We'll see many familiar names playing basketball once again after they were forced out of the NBA. Some of the high profile names are Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Mike Bibby and Latrell Sprewell.
1 Allen Iverson
One star stands out from the rest in the marketing of the Big 3. The biggest name associated with the on-court aspect of the game is definitely Allen Iverson. Sadly, Iverson’s NBA career ended too early but at his peak, he was as popular as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal or anyone else dominating the sport. Fans adored the work ethic and entertaining style of Iverson.
Big 3’s set up will make up for the flaws that forced Iverson to leave the NBA. Defense is less of a factor in the three-on-three games and the weekly slate of games prevents the NBA’s grueling schedule. Iverson was always best at the one-on-one style and that will be a benefit here. Fans have the opportunity to watch Iverson play basketball again in an atmosphere that will end his legacy on a better note.
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