Ice Cube was able to summon celebrities with huge name recognition, bring in investors with deep pockets, and secure a TV deal with Fox Sports. But if the product on the court isn’t entertaining, can the Big3 league Cube created ever have sustainable success?
The first games of the inaugural season were played Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn but aired on television Monday night. According to Washington Post hoops writer Tim Bontemps, it took six hours to complete the games. Who is trying to sit in a basketball arena for six hours watching washed former NBA players brick jump shots?
The league consists of eight teams, each with several former NBA stars, that play games to 60, with 2-point margins of victory.
Seeing NBA legends take the court in a 3 on 3 setting brought everyone back to the late 90’s and early 2000’s when Jason Williams and Mike Bibby were dueling in the Western Conference.
But when Williams, aka White Chocolate, drove hard against Bibby, he came to a jump-stop and appeared to tear his ACL, screaming in pain as he fell to the floor. Williams, a flashy ball handler and passer who has garnered a following on Youtube with his play in pro-am tournaments, was supposed to be one of the marquee players in the league.
Besides the injuries, there was a lot that went wrong the first weekend. After watching the first games of the season, here are three ways to improve the Big3.
Shorten the games
I think Cube overthought this a little. We don’t need to watch these old dudes play to 60. The games drag on and the shot-making ability of the players isn’t consistent.
Change the format to replicate pick-up basketball at the playground. Play to 21 by one’s and two’s and winner stays on.
Get rid of the league format with a championship at the end of the season, if Cube thinks people will be checking up on the standings each week to see who is in first, second or third, he is sorely mistaken. We just want to be entertained.
Get some better referees
The refs let the games get out of hand and looked too shook to blow the whistle.
The hand-checking and physical play in the post is fine but at a certain point it needs to be reigned in or else no one will be able to score.
Mic up the players
Let’s get a stream on Fox Sports Go where we can hear the smack talk between the players.
There has to be some history between some of these players that would make for some entertaining chatter on the court.
Gotta hope there’s some alterations with the Big3, otherwise it’ll be a pretty massive disappointment.