Big3 Rumors


The Big 3 will delay a quarantined, reality show 3-on-3 pre-season basketball tournament from this month to either August or September because of ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus, a person familiar with the developments told USA TODAY Sports. The Big 3, which originally planned to begin its fourth season on June 20 in Memphis, is aiming to start the season in either the fall or the winter, the person added.
The Big 3 will delay a quarantined, reality show 3-on-3 pre-season basketball tournament from this month to either August or September because of ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus, a person familiar with the developments told USA TODAY Sports. The Big 3, which originally planned to begin its fourth season on June 20 in Memphis, is aiming to start the season in either the fall or the winter, the person added. “It’s a fluid situation,” a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s hard to provide a fixed date, but it’s happening.”
Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz previously told USA TODAY Sports that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, remained flexible on when to launch operations both because of their extensive planning and to account for public safety. “Ice Cube and I are in the business of entertaining people,” Kwatinetz said in late March. “In times like this, they need entertainment. We have to make sure it’s safe and that the basketball is credible and really competitive. We feel like we’re able to do that.”

Storyline: Big3 Signings
Kwatinetz said that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, are “probably just a few days away” from finalizing various logistics to ensure the tournament is broadcast globally. That includes resuming talks with potential broadcast partners, calculating the show’s budget and the tournament’s rules and schedule. Kwatinetz said he has fielded interest “far in excess” for the potential 16 players. Former NBA players will mostly represent that field, but Kwatinetz said he wants to “include at least one or two of the best female players.” Part of that hinges on the WNBA schedule. It will hold a virtual draft on April 17 and said it remains on schedule with the beginning of training camp (April 26) and the season opener (May 15). The WNBA might change its itinerary, though, depending on if it is considered safe to resume business.
Storyline: Coronavirus
None of the professional sports leagues have any certainty on when they can resume play. Not with the coronavirus outbreak growing by the day. That has not inhibited the Big3, however, from making plans for its fourth season, a pre-season tournament and even a reality show. The 3-on-3 basketball league partnered with media production company Endemal, which has produced the highly-rated reality show “Big Brother,” to create a quarantined reality show and a three-week pre-season tournament starting the first week of May. Big3 also plans to open its fourth season of its 12-team league on June 20 in Memphis. “We can’t control what happens with the virus. Nobody can control it,” Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz told USA TODAY Sports. “If that has to be pushed back a week or two, that’s possible. But we feel pretty good about being able to be up and running in May.”
The plan is to make the show an annual preseason Big3 tournament, sources said. Cube and Kwatinetz are in the process of finalizing the rules for the show, engaging in dialogue with possible sponsors and narrowing down potential global TV broadcast partners, sources said. While it would seem that CBS would be the show’s logical home because “Big Brother” and The Big3 air on the network, there is talk that the show is being aggressively pursued by another suitor, sources said.
“As long as we can protect the players, which we will do through proper testing and quarantine, Ice cube and I feel we can give fans some safe, entertaining brand of basketball to get everyone through this pandemic,” Kwatinetz told Yahoo Sports. “Cube and I have been in the entertainment business for 30 years. This is our job. People want to be entertained with all we’re going through and enjoy our sports. We think this will help.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
In an aggressive attempt to promote its June 27 outdoor festival at Flushing Meadows, the Big3 — a three-on-three professional basketball league — appeared to brand Dolan as having racial animus in a full-page ad that ran in Friday’s Post. The Big3 advertisement contains, at the top, a quote from Dolan’s chief antagonist, Charles Oakley, stating, “It’s a plantation over there.’’
Last year’s Big3 championship game averaged a 0.48 rating and 674,000 viewers on CBS, down 31% in ratings and 33% in viewership following a 0.7 rating and 1 million viewers for the 2018 championship game on Fox. “CBS Sports was a remarkable partner for the BIG3 last season as we were able to take the league to a whole new level and reach new fans globally, utilizing CBS’ unmatched broadcast team and production, and we’re thrilled to bring the BIG3 back to their airwaves in 2020,” said BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube.
Storyline: TV Ratings
He wishes the league would build out more streamable content in the offseason, like investing in The Basketball Tournament or the Big 3. “Right?” he says. “We should have NBA content year-round, but it’s beyond the definition of stupidity that we take our best players and we let them play for the Olympics, which is a commercial event.” In Cuban’s mind, basketball should be more like soccer. “What’s a bigger event, soccer in the Olympics, or the World Cup of soccer?” he asks. “Why can’t we do the same thing?”
After countless calls and months of planning, his BIG3 basketball league has announced major changes for the upcoming season of professional 3-on-3 hoops. The league is now officially recognizing that athletes are playing a completely new sport known as FIREBALL3 as the result of game innovations, unique rules and league policies introduced by the BIG3 over its first three seasons — such as the 4-point shot and 14-second shot clock.
“I think lowering the age does erase the stigma [of this being a retirement league],” Ice Cube told ESPN. “It might’ve kept people from playing in the BIG3 because they don’t want to seem like they’re done. “So we want to get rid of all the stigmas that the league had and when we first started the league. We vowed not to be rigid and to evolve with what the league is doing and what it needs to be, so this allows us to make the right moves at the right time and still keep the integrity of what basketball is.”
Another exciting BIG3 season has come to a close, and once again there’s a new champion. Led by league MVP Joe Johnson, Triplets took down Killer 3s, 50-39, in the championship game on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. Johnson finished the game with 28 points, including the championship-winning 3-pointer. Johnson drained the shot right in front of LeBron James, who was watching courtside.
Storyline: Joe Johnson Free Agency
“I am hopeful to get back, but I did not get in the BIG3 to get back to the ‘league,’ ” said Joe Johnson, who is uncertain about playing in the BIG3 next season. “I had a great career. I enjoyed the process. The only thing that keeps the NBA fire in the belly is how it ended in Houston. That just does not sit well with me. So if an opportunity comes along and I feel that it is worth it, yeah, I take that chance.”

Joe Johnson to work out for NBA teams

Marc J. Spears: Ex-NBA guard Joe Johnson is in Philadelphia and is working out for the Sixers tomorrow, a source told @espn @TheUndefeated. The MVP of @thebig3 also is expected to work out for the Clippers, Bucks & Nuggets. Joe Johnson & the Triplets are playing in the Big 3 title game Sunday.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 139 more rumors
Arenas is committed to the league for at least one more year. Naturally, he has ideas on how it can improve. He wants to buy the Enemies, for one, but BIG3 teams aren’t individual franchises just yet. He wants to raise the competition level, too, and he’s taken that idea up the ladder, to commissioner Ice Cube himself. Arenas told him, “You gotta understand, this is what your vision looks like: a retired league of your favorite players—Iverson, me, Kobe, Dirk. We’re broken, playing this rugged streetball style.” He laughs at the thought of it. “Players that’s out of shape, fat, heavier, just banging and muscling and tussling—that doesn’t look as appealing as you would think.”
“The NBA shut me out a long time ago,” Robinson said. “(Big3 founder) Ice Cube opened the doors for me, and I’m here to stay. I’m happy here. The NBA would be nice, but I put that in the back. I still work out for me but not to impress any coaches or GMs. I do it for me and my kids to show them what hard work is, even though I’m not playing at the level I think I’m supposed to be playing at. The NBA was fun. It was 11 great years, and I’m satisfied with that.”
But The Answer is gone — and the novelty has worn off a bit. Now the startup sports league co-founded by music legend Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz is wrestling with tough decisions. Call it the growing pains for a lezgue trying to crash the overcrowded U.S. sports market. The BIG3 is drawing crowds of around 10,000 fans per game this season. But well off from its average of 14,000 last season. And still down from averaging 11,500 during its first season in 2017.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the only players left on the Bucks from Sanders’ time. He still follows the team closely and keeps in contact with his ex-teammates. “Usually if I reach out to someone, I get a response,” he said. “It’s all love.” Sanders has fond memories of his time in the city. “I’m a really earthy, on-foot person,” Sanders said. “Milwaukee was my first time really experiencing snow. So I was in a wonderland. Now five years of it kind of weighed on me. By Year 5, I had my routes. I had a spot on the lake that I would go to after every game. I had a certain spot on the lake. I’d just sit there in my car. I had my favorite tree. I had my trails that I would walk by the lake. I really took it in and had a great experience.”
Sanders lives in California now, spending most of his days working on music and art. Since Sanders detailed his battles with anxiety and depression, several NBA stars like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love have also come forward in talking about mental health. “I think a lot of guys feel a lot better about making decisions, stepping out and saying how they feel,” Sanders said. “And letting it be OK. Letting it be a real thing. We’ll look back at this time, 2019, and say ‘We were pretty prehistoric when it came to mental health. There’s a lot we didn’t know, a lot we didn’t tap into.’