In Jan. 2017, rapper Ice Cube set out to bring back the type of basketball many fans yearned for, resurrecting the days where guys like Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson ruled the NBA. His idea was simple: a 3-on-3 basketball league filled with retired NBA players who could still perform with the same intensity they possessed 15 years ago.
The BIG3 made its debut on June 25 with the league’s eight teams competing in 3-on-3 games in front of a New York City crowd. Names like Iverson, Mike Bibby, and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams gave the Brooklyn crowd a pop of nostalgia mixed with fierce competition.
While the league had a ton of upside, things started to fall off the rails from the very first night. White Chocolate, one of the bigger names of the league, suffered a knee injury, ending his season.
As the league continued to travel from city to city, more missteps occurred. Coach Gary Peyton became very vocal about his commitment, or lack there of, reducing his involvement to something to do if and when he feels like it.
Per haps the biggest hit came when the league traveled to Philadelphia, Iverson’s former stomping grounds. While Iverson did make an appearance, he announced 30 minutes before the games that he would not be playing due to “doctor’s orders.” Once it became apparent that A.I. would not take the court for the rest of the summer, interest in the league tanked.
While its inaugural season proved to be a rough one, the BIG3 looks to return in 2018 with more legends and a focus on righting their wrongs.
Join us tomorrow for our top sports stories of the year as we take a look at perhaps the most heroic game-winning performance of 2017.