Remember those AND 1 streetball tours? This will not be that in the slightest.
Hip hop legend Ice Cube is teaming with Roger Mason, retired shooting guard for the NBA and the now-former deputy executive director of the NBA Players Association, to launch the BIG3, a three-on-three, half-court basketball summer tourney that will feature players who have either retired from the NBA or are currently not in the league.
The BIG3 will consist of eight teams of five players (three “starters,” and two “bench” players), and has already attracted several notable (well, relatively speaking) names: Stephen “Captain Jack” Jackson, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Kenyon “K-Mart” Martin and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams. Gary Payton has even signed on to be a coach.
Speaking to The Vertical, Cube said, “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?'” he continued. “It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?'”
Splicing pick-up style basketball with musical acts and entertainment, the league is slated to start June 24th, 2017 and would play for 10 weeks throughout the summer.