Remember in the early 2000s, EA Sports changed the sports gaming industry with the release of “NBA Street,” a basketball video game where you chose three of your favorite NBA players from any team and matched them up against your friend’s three choices or the computers.
Many kids hoped this trendsetting game would become a real league — well at least I did. Fifteen years later with the help of former hip-hop artist, Ice Cube, this three-on-three tournament of NBA legends is becoming real.
According to USA Today Sports, Cube is collaborating with former National Basketball Players Association’s (NBPA) deputy executive director, Roger Mason, and other investors to create this summer half-court three-on-three tournament that will be named Big3.
The league will be strictly player operated. Both the players and coaches will consist of former NBA legends. Teams will consist of five players, one being the captain, and a coach who will also be a former player.
As of now, there will be a total of eight teams and hopefully more as the league becomes more popular and continues to grow. Teams will travel together from city to city for games and the plan is for the league to begin this June.
A few retired players that have committed to the Big3 league are Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams and Chauncey Billups, according to USA Today Sports.
With popular players in the NBA recently retiring such as Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and more, we can only hope and look forward to more NBA legends to commit to the BIG3 league.
Ice Cube spoke with USA Today Sports saying, “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?’” Cube said to USA Today reporters.
This is a big deal not only for basketball fans, but also for the world of sports. If the BIG3 league is as successful as predicted, it will affect the sports and entertainment industry tremendously and rumors have it they may even push to be considered an Olympic sport.