Ice Cube and the BIG3 League are here to save the summer

Dan O'Shea

Human nature these days is to complain. While we sit around and watch incredibly entertaining sports, we complain about how we’re wearing sweatpants and the ice cream truck hasn’t drove by in what seems like a century. Now that it’s summer and it’s finally romper and romphim season, all we complain about is how there are no sports on TV. It’s been a vicious cycle of bitching and moaning until now, thanks to Ice Cube and the BIG3 League. 

For those of you who don’t know what the BIG3 League is, it’s a creation of rapper turned bad movie maker Ice Cube, featuring retired basketball players in a 3-on-3 setting. Cube put this bad boy together because just like you and I, he misses the players of old. What better way to get your former favorites back on the court than to cut the court in half, and make the games half as long?

 

 

While he dreamed of Kobe and Duncan, he got Cuttino Mobley and Rasual Butler. That’s like aiming for the stars and actually digging a hole in the ground instead. Nonetheless, those who are competing in the league are proving that this could be the perfect sport for people to get into this summer.

It’s everything you need in a season where you don’t exactly want to get to involved, but you want to be entertained. It’s the perfect pace for a summer league: first to 60 points, win by two, with a 14 second shot clock. The slower parts of normal basketball are completely eliminated, making it interesting from start to finish. It has almost as arcade-feel to it with innovative rules, including three designated 4-point zones, and one free throw counting as two points instead of one to again, increase the pace of play. It’s like finding the perfect Netflix series to put on as background noise, but instead of mediocre acting, you get aged basketball players and heaves from Steph Curry range.

 

It’s only a few weeks long, with an 8-week regular season finishing on August 13th before the matchups are announced the following weeks. In the end, basketball is basketball. It’s the perfect fast tempo game that can give you something to do at 8 PM ET on a Monday night, while still getting to few some of the players you used to watch.

Allen Iverson is clearly the biggest name, but players like Stephen Jackson, Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, Bonzi Wells, and Jason Williams as well as others will get the nostalgia going faster than any of these old men on the court. Also if you’ve ever seen any 3-on-3 game at a park or gym in your entire life, you know how competitive and physical that gets considering there’s much more contact allowed. If you think that old man who just finished his shift as a janitor gets heated about pickup basketball, think about how former professional players are going to get.

It’s just flat out more entertaining than anything else going on right now. If you’re not a hardcore baseball fan what else are you watching to get your sports fix? The NFL Top 100 list? You’re probably treating tweets from stars that include the eye emojis or players following other players on social media as crack at this point. There’s nothing better to get your fix right now. It’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s not the same argument of whether LeBron is better than Jordan for the three hundred millionth time.

There are clearly some negatives that you should be prepared for. Firstly, the games aren’t televised live, which is insanity at this point with today’s technology. Still, it’s not like you’re getting updates sent straight to your phone like you do for all your other favorite sports. Unless Allen Iverson puts Gary Payton in a headlock, you won’t hear much about the games unless you actively look for information. As mentioned above, it’s also still featuring a ton of older players. We saw three injuries in the first week to Corey Maggette, Kenyon Martin, and Jason Williams. There are flaws, but the first man over the wall always gets hit. Ice Cube has still given us a product that we can use as our sports fix for the time being.

With the league only past its first week at this point, it’s hard to say how much further it will go, but it’s definitely looking good. At the opening event for the BIG3 League at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, 15,000 people showed up. If it continues to draw ratings and sell tickets, the names will get better. We’ll go from watching Ricky Davis and Josh Childress to hopefully players like Vince Carter and Paul Pierce. It’s not going to happen overnight, but this has the potential to be a staple of the summer. For now, you can watch some extremely entertaining basketball instead of rewatching a mildly entertaining HBO Show for the 100,000th time.

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