The NBA announced it would be suspended indefinitely on March 11 and, because no one really understood how long the suspension would be, nobody was too bummed to be missing March NBA in hopes that it would allow the playoffs to start on time. Adam Silver most recently said that the NBA would reconsider its options on May 1. In the meantime, the NBA and ESPN have partnered to broadcast a 2K Tournament with players going against each other and are in discussions to show a HORSE competition between former and current NBA and WNBA players matching each other’s shots at their own home baskets. Fans have been starving for sports as every other major sports league followed the NBA’s example in suspending and postponing their events, but there is one league that plans to start their season earlier than usual with a fun twist.
As first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Big3 plans to host their first ever preseason tournament in late April. The tournament will be preceded by players being checked for coronavirus before officially entering quarantine at a Los Angeles mansion with every player and referee involved also living there. The mansion will be outfitted with cameras and the content will be produced by the makers of “Big Brother.” A basketball court will be built for the games to go on without outside travel.
The tournament will include seven rounds of games and players will eb shuffled from team to team after each round. The winner will be declared by the individual players with the most wins throughout the tournament.
No word has been given on which players will be present, but with cash prizes “totaling millions of dollars” for the top three placed winners, the tournament is sure to draw attention and motivation from former NBA players.
The Big3 was started by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz on the premise that there are plenty of good basketball players outside of the NBA whose skills can be showcased in a half court “pickup-style” game with plenty of rest between play. The league travels from city to city throughout it’s 10 week season with the final two weeks acting as the postseason.
Basketball royalty has not only played in the Big3 but graced the sideline and offices as well. Lisa Leslie, Nancy Lieberman and Rick Mahorn each have one championship to their name defeating Charles Oakley, Michael Cooper, and Gary Payton respectively. Clyde Drexler has been Commissioner of the barnstorming league since taking over for Roger Mason Jr. in 2018.
The startup league has been adaptable in ways that many established sports leagues have been afraid to and continue to push the envelope with bold moves like “Big Brother: Big3.” The leagues small size allows for a quarantined tournament in a way that the NBA and MLB have suggested but will most likely not follow through with. The simple idea would keep players safe, and the assumed brevity of the quarantine away from family and friends will not be too detrimental to the players involved.
The Big3 has a chance to garner attention in a way that they have not been able to before in an audacious attempt to fill the void of sports. In a time dominated by a small number of major sports, the Big3 experiment will be remembered.