The Big3 three-on-three basketball league has expanded its partnership with technology giant Microsoft, which will become the jersey patch sponsor of all 12 teams. The move will see six Big3 teams sport Microsoft branding on their jerseys, while the remaining six will wear the Xbox gaming console logo. Microsoft will become the official technology partner of the league, giving it access to in-game signage and product pop-ups.
Chris Haynes: .@TheBig3 News: Former NBA star Metta Sandiford-Artest has decided not to return this year, sources tell @YahooSports. The Trilogy will need to replace his roster spot this week before Saturday’s opener. The captain is Jarrett Jack and coach Stephen Jackson.
Now, the league has announced full broadcast details. This year, their games will air on CBS, Paramount+, Triller, and FiteTV. And there are two particularly interesting new names involved, with John Salley as sideline reporter (a role formerly held by Michael Rapaport, which led to some awkward interactions) and Lisa Leslie as an analyst (when she’s not coaching the defending champion Triplets). They’ll join returning analysts Jim Jackson and Avery Johnson as well as play-by-play voices Brian Custer, Ed Cohen, and Carter Blackburn. Here’s more on Salley and Leslie from the league’s release:
The Big 3 draft took place on Monday evening and featured some notable names. In fact, former NBA Champion and Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace was selected 9th overall in the first round and has joined the Trilogy. Metta World Peace in the Big 3 makes too much sense. Another former Laker– Earl Clark– went 2nd overall. Metta was previously a co-captain for the Killer 3s and will be joining a new team in 2021.
While the combine is a loose setting for the onlookers, the action on the court is intense. Players dive for loose balls, get frustrated when they don’t get foul calls, aggressively call for the ball and ramp up their intensity when games get close to the end. It’s all part of the effort to impress the coaches and team captains, who serve as the general managers, from the BIG3’s 12 teams to be one of the 20 players drafted later this month. “It’s very competitive and they know it,” BIG3 commissioner and NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler said the week before the combine. “The combine gives guys an opportunity to showcase their skills.”
The regular-season games will be played in Vegas and New Orleans over the course of eight weeks leading up to the two-round playoff in the Bahamas. Despite not playing a game since 2019, league co-founder Ice Cube is confident about where BIG3 stands in the realm of summer sports. “I don’t care what nobody say: We got the hottest league in the summer,” Cube, whose birth name is O’Shea Jackson, said the week before the combine. “We’ve only been around four years, but nothing’s hotter in the summer than us. Not baseball, not soccer or golf, not even Summer League basketball in the NBA. People who recognize that will jump on board with our league, and we’ll continue to grow.”
Social media company Triller agreed to a joint venture deal with rapper Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league and will host its first all-star game, the parties told CNBC. Specific terms of the agreement were not made available, but Big3 and Triller will share advertising revenue earned from events. The companies will also share arena signage and will cross-promote their brands.