This actually sounds dope. Ice Cube has announced the launch of a new 3-on-3 basketball league where retired NBAers will get to show they still got game.
The league will be called BIG3 and will feature recently-retired NBA players who still want to play the game at a competitive level. Peep, we said recently retired. So this won’t be like the Legends game that used to happen during NBA All-Star Weekend back in the day. There will be no Karl Malone or Patrick Ewing sightings on the court. Instead, this league will have guys like Stephen Jackson, Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O’Neal and Jason Williams who all have signed on to play according to league officials.
This isn’t just going to be pick-up basketball either. Cube is partnering with former NBA Players Association Deputy executive director Roger Mason, Jr. who is leaving his post to help build the league along with investors.
The league will be made up of eight teams with five players, meaning each team will have two bench players. They will be playing half-court. Each team will also have an ex-player as head coach. The first coach to sign on is former NBA All-Star Gary Payton.
Ice Cube tells The Vertical:
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore. A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights. I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’ It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen? Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”
BIG3 also has plans of adding a festival element to the league with the games being played in different cities as a tour that will include musical guests and other entertainment. The games will be played during the summer after the NBA season has ended. The league is currently working to secure a television deal.
If you like what you hear, you won’t have to wait too long. The league is scheduled to start play on June 24, 2017.