Ice Cube has made changes in the Big 3 in terms of moving a new network, changing the age minimum for the league, bringing in more big names than ever, and aiming to build their household names. Big 3 League is not like the XFL, and it’s already outlasted most people’s expectations.

Every year Cube and his team are making this league more innovative and something for basketball fans to look forward to in their offseason. Big 3 League could be a viable alternative if you are not into the Las Vegas Summer League or NBA Africa Game. For me, I love anything, and everything basketball and I am always looking for more to watch when the NBA season reaches its conclusion.

 

5. More Star Power Than Ever Makes For A Competitive Season

(via Sports Illustrated)

There are 12 teams in total: 3 Headed Monsters, 3’s Company, Aliens, Ball Hogs, Bivouac, Enemies, Ghost Ballers, Killer 3’s, Power, Tri-State, Trilogy, and Triplets. Let’s learn more about these teams past their names and team logos.

3 Headed Monsters is headed by their returning Big 3 in Rashard Lewis, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, and Reggie Evans. They went on to add some notable names like a shot blocker in Larry Sanders and a sniper from 3 in Mario Chalmers.

3’s Company lost in the Big 3 Championship game last season to Power. They retained their same team with guys like Baron Davis, Andre Emmett, Drew Gooden, and Jason Maxiell.

The Aliens are an expansion team headed by NBA notables in a freak athlete in Shannon Brown, a sharpshooter in Brandon Rush, a bust in Greg Oden looking for a second chance and a rising household name in Andre Owens.

The Ball Hogs are headed by “White Mamba” in Brian Scalabrine, a tough guy in Deshawn Stevenson, and the widely proclaimed best three on three players in the world in Dusan Bulut. Bivouac led by “J-Smoove” in Josh Smith, a sharpshooter in Anthony Morrow and a very solid point guard in Will Bynum.

The Enemies are often considered the paper champions of this season with their stacked roster of “Agent Zero” in Gilbert Arenas and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year and two time NBA champion with the Lakers, Lamar Odom and young guns in Royce White and Perry Jones III. The Ghost Ballers look to rebound from a bad season last year in the Big 3 by adding Jamario Moon to their big 3 of Mike Bibby, Carlos Boozer, and Ricky Davis.

The Killer 3’s led by “Stak5” in Stephen Jackson, and newly acquired NBA notables in Eddy Curry and C.J. Watson. Cannot forget about Frank “Nitty” Session, who has dazzled many eyes in the Drew League.

The defending champs in Power, led by league MVP in Corey Maggette, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and the Silver Fox in Cuttino Mobley. A bench of a shot blocker, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, a sharpshooter in Quentin Richardson and Ryan Gomes is pretty solid.

Tri-State might be competing with the Enemies for the most stacked squad on paper with names like Jermaine O’Neal, A’mare “STAT” Stoudemire, and Nate Robinson. Their most significant addition was getting a former above rim athlete and reliable scorer in Jason Richardson.

Trilogy may be a far cry from what they were years ago led by “The Jet” Jason Terry, an international superstar in Carlos Arroyo, and a rising household name in David Hawkins.

The last team is Triplets led by “Iso-Joe” Joe Johnson and a veteran back to the basket big in Al Jefferson. Other former NBA notables include an 11 year NBA vet in Jannero Pargo and a solid 3 and D guy in Alan Anderson. 

Of Course with legends like Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Theus, and Lisa Leslie joining the coaching ranks, we are for a wild ride this season. Which team are you going to ride or die with this season?

To look at full rosters for all the twelve teams, go to https://big3.com/teams/

 

4.The Move From FS1 to CBS And CBS Sports

No longer is Fox Sports 1 the home of Big 3 basketball. The season tips off June 22nd at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan at 8 pm EST on CBS Sports per Big 3 website. There will be six games played that will be split through the weekend. Three on Saturday and the other three on Sunday. The league has expanded from eight teams to twelve teams. The four new expansion teams are Enemies, Triplets, Aliens and Bivouac(pronounced Biv-whack). Over 132 players arrived at the Big 3 Combine this year and Big 3 has more talent than ever. The most exciting factor is that CBS will be broadcasting Big 3’s playoff games. I expect on a more popular station that the Big 3 will thrive.

 

3. The Age Minimum Changed From 33 To 27

The age change makes for exciting news because, for an average NBA or basketball player, the prime of their career typically takes place between the years of 27-33. Most players during that six-year window are at their peak. There are exceptions for players that peak late or manage to extend their prime beyond 33. Per Nir Regev of Fansided, “Ice Cube announced in a BIG3 conference call today that the league will expand from eight to twelve teams and lower the player entry age from 30 to 27”. This news broke about four months ago.

The announcement of the age minimum changes the image of the league. It will be full of guys that can likely still go and possibly use the Big 3 as a platform to wow an NBA team by showing that they still got some juice left in the tank.

Guys like college standout, Royce White is most known for never playing in an NBA game due to his fear of flying. Royce White has now overcome this fear and mental illness and believes he has the talent level of a LeBron James. This is likely, not true, but it is great to see a 28-year-old have a chance at a comeback in the world of basketball. Check out his highlights playing for the Iowa state cyclones.

Other notable athletes that will join the league due to the age requirement being lowered include Franklin “Nitty” Session, who is 30 years old and tore it up in the Drew League and Perry Jones III, who is the youngest player in the BIG3 best known for his stint with the OKC Thunder. Jones III is 27 years old and is an above the rim athlete. BIG 3 is getting some new blood in the form of some young blood. 

 

2. BIG 3 Adds Innovation To Basketball

(via Washington Times)

The obvious innovations have been the iconic 4 point shot which a round circle located about 5 feet beyond the regular 3 point line. In a 2014 article, per Marc Stein of ESPN, there were discussions of adding a 4 point shot. “NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki Vandeweghe acknowledged in a recent interview with ESPN.com that the league office, at least in an exploratory fashion, has weighed expanding the dimensions of the court and the introduction of a 4-point shot.”

However, NBA spokesman, Tim Frank vehemently denies the talk of a 4 point shot ever being a discussion point. “No one at the NBA, nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a 4-point line,” Frank said in a statement. “Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out-of-the-box ideas and ESPN.com chose to make a story that doesn’t exist.”

While Ice Cube ran with this innovation and made it happen. 4 point shots are a part of the Big 3, but they are not overly done. The additions of guys like Gilbert Arenas, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Jason Terry, Jason Richardson, Anthony Morrow and Mario Chalmers may look to change the game in the Big 3 by increasing the range. Another innovation by the Big 3 was their new draft set-up.

The draft order was done by the teams picking a representative to draw ping pong balls at random. Each team was given equal odds of landing a number one pick outside of the top 2 teams from last year. Power had to retain their championship squad intact to defend the championship, 3’s Company put one player back in the draft pool. The rest of the teams had equal odds to pick #1. Could we see more of similar format for the NBA going forward? If each team besides the two teams that met in the NBA finals had equal odds, then would this discourage teams from deliberately trying to tank?

 

1. An Old Style Of Basketball That Favors Big Men And Isolation Players

The style of Big 3 emphasizes the fundamental elements of 3 on 3 basketball. Since it is isn’t 5 on 5 anymore it is tougher to hide defensively. Big men need to be able to guard on switches and the perimeter in isolations. The big man matters the most. The teams with a great size typically have the most success in this league. Whereas, in the NBA it’s a more guard driven league and the traditional center has been phased out.

The Big 3 league brings the toughness, trash talking and conventional big men back into the limelight of the basketball world. To put things into a higher perspective in the first round 4 of the first 5 picks were back to the basket bigs. Small ball wasn’t a norm in the past and the real NBA center is back in the Big 3. Also, good isolation players are a huge plus in the Big 3. James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s style in the NBA doesn’t win, but in the Big 3 guys like Gilbert Arenas and Joe Johnson are key players in the recipe of future success for their ball club.

The Big 3 is the name. Ice Cube is changing the game. The big man is back. The arrival of teams like the Aliens, Triplets, Enemies, and Bivouac make for an awesome and competitive season.

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