If you are a basketball lover (and sports lover as a whole), you have undoubtedly heard about BIG3 and everything it has to offer. The concept is a unique one—a 3-on-3 basketball league comprised of 12 teams that are made up of former NBA players, overseas players, and even local hoopers that are finally being given a shot at making their professional playing dreams come true. While the job requires you to be in tip-top physical shape, the schedule and time in between seasons makes it doable. And the competition is fun. Really fun. To hear a bit more about the burgeoning league, we spoke to Basketball Hall of Famer—and current BIG3 coach—Nancy Lieberman, plus some of the players competing this season.
Ice Cube's BIG3 is On Its Way to Becoming a Global Entity
Here's a breakdown of our weekend with the team
This past Saturday, the BIG3 was in Charlotte, North Carolina, playing in front of a sold out crowd, and we were there on the sidelines and behind the scenes to observe everything. The games were widely entertaining; you got to see several familiar faces, and nobody left in between games, which is a testament to just how quickly the league is growing. Global dominance is next, with Championship Saturday scheduled to take place August 26th in London at the 02 Arena, and all involved in the BIG3 family say this is just the beginning.
In a recent interview conducted with CBS Sports, Founder and CEO of BIG3, Ice Cube, addressed the past and present of the league. "I think we started off with the right ingredients," he told CBS Sports. "It being three-on-three, which is very familiar to all basketball fans, and having some of the greatest players to ever play the game to endorse the league. [Guys] like Dr. J, Ice Man, Gary Payton, Rick Barry, Nancy Lieberman, Lise Leslie, Clyde Drexler. Also having some great names people are familiar with come through the league."
BIG3 is what's good about humanity and good about the world.
- Nancy Lieberman
When asked by CBS Sports what needs to happen in order for the league to continue to grow, Ice Cube responded: "To grow it, I think it's time for us to sell teams and have owners, and to establish teams in certain cities. To have that kind of reach and backing and power of all of these people together will definitely grow the league. And we're reaching our arms internationally, so that's going to grow the league as well."
All the pieces are aligning perfectly, and there's no better person to lead the league other than Ice Cube according to BIG3 coach Nancy Lieberman:
"It's an honor to be a part of the BIG3," Lieberman told ONE37pm adding: "I've coached in every league from the WNBA, to the G-League, to the NBA, and now in my fifth year with BIG3. It's an honor to work for Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz. They've put their blood, soul, and money into giving players an opportunity to prolong their careers.
"The BIG3 is a huge family. With some players you already know their name, and with some players you don't, but now you know their game. What Ice Cube has done with the rule changes and all the other updates has been amazing. I'm really proud of him. There's so many people in this world right now that's being divided, and we're being pulled apart based on our beliefs, colors, age, religion, etc.—BIG3 is what's good about humanity and good about the world. We're all one, and we are DEI.
"When Cube hired me, he made me the first women's coach in a men's league at this level, and the highest-paid—I make what everybody else makes, and my agent didn't have to negotiate that."
And the players have nothing but high praises for the league as well.
Cube really cares. When I got hurt, he reached out to me, checked up on me, and told me to keep going. Our league is growing every year, becoming more competitive.
- Jason Richardson
Two-time NBA Slam-Dunk champion Jason Richardson—who now serves as Captain for Tri State—echoed similar sentiments: "It's great playing for BIG3," he told us. "Cube really cares. When I got hurt, he reached out to me, checked up on me, and told me to keep going. Our league is growing every year, becoming more competitive, and I have gotten to be around the likes of Dr. J!"
Beloved Charlotte native Ryan "Hezi God" Carter added on, saying: "Dapping up NLE Choppa after my turnaround three was definitely a dope moment. Getting to meet O'Shea (Jackson) was dope too because he said he was excited to meet me! I've watched Straight Outta Compton like a million times, so that was really cool for sure!"
With sellout crowds all over the place, and the championship scheduled in London at the end of the month, the BIG3 is well on its way to being the global entity they've dreamed of. This past Saturday was a good day (Ice Cube voice), and we encourage everybody to make it out to a game at some point. You'll have a blast.
More from one37pm
Mr. October: The Most Home Runs In a Postseason
The 11 Fastest NBA Players in 2023
Damian Lillard's Best Teammates, Ranked
ESPN's 'The Crossover' Director Talks Celebration of Hip-Hop, Sports, and How the Documentary Came Together
Which NFL Team Has the Most Super Bowl Wins?
The 8 Most Iconic Sports Moments in American History