Big 3

Some highlights from this week’s BIG3 media call, featuring BIG3 co-founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, commissioner Roger Mason Jr. and CEO Amy Trask:

Opening remarks from Ice Cube: “We had a great, great Week 6 of BIG3 basketball in Dallas, Texas, American Airlines Center. Our attendance was 15,125, which is our second-largest crown behind Week 1 in Brooklyn, which was 15,177. Week 6 showed a lot of great competition, which is what the BIG3 is all about.”

Cube praised 3’s Company and the Killer 3s for their Week 6 victories. “We had two teams with their backs against the wall, facing elimination from championship consideration,” said Cube. “They pulled out gritty wins. Season-saving wins.”

The 3’s Company win came with player/coach Allen Iverson noticeably absent. The BIG3 announced today that Iverson would be suspended for this week’s game in Lexington, Ky., for what Mason called “an unexcused absence.” As he did last week in Dallas, co-captain DerMarr Johnson will again step up and serve as player/coach for 3’s Company this week.

Passion Play

The Killer 3s’ victory featured a sideline shouting match between co-captain Stephen Jackson and coach Charles Oakley. “You saw how competitive the league is with Stephen Jackson and Charles Oakley chewing out each other on the sidelines,” said Cube. “It just showed the passion of our games. … We don’t encourage people getting into arguments, but they actually ended up working it out and winning the game.”

Player of the Week

Mason announced that the Week 6 player of the week is Andre Owens of 3’s Company. “Owens stepped up big-time,” said Mason of Owens, who scored 25 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and hit the game-winning 3-pointer. Owens is the only player in the BIG3 who ranks in the top six in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Personnel Update

There was one injury to report: Power’s Jerome Williams, who got hurt early in the Week 6 game, will miss another couple of weeks. Paul McPherson will be active this week in his place.

On to Lexington

“We’re excited to go to Lexington,” said Kwatinetz. “Rupp Arena is one of the most famous college arenas in the country. We always said we wanted to go to cities that were both a mix of NBA teams and non-NBA teams. It’s a big basketball town. We’re very excited, and they seem to be excited to have us.”

Big-Time Bearcats

Given Lexington’s proximity to Cincinnati, Ohio, Kwatinetz noted that a big storyline would be the presence of four former University of Cincinnati players: Trilogy’s Kenyon Martin led the Bearcats to a number one ranking his senior year; fellow Trilogy player James White graduated from Cincinnati in 2006; 3’s Company teammates Ruben Patterson and DerMarr Johnson both player with K-Mart.

Once again, FS1’s Monday night broadcast of this week’s BIG3 basketball action was accompanied by a mammoth Tweet-along, featuring star players and other members of the BIG3 family. Here are some of the highlights… As usual, BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was courtside for Sunday’s action. The crowd of more than 15,000 at the American Airlines Center was the league’s biggest crowd since opening day at Barclay’s Center.

By Craig Ellenport

As the BIG3’s inaugural season rolls along, each new stop brings special memories to different players for different reasons. When Week 6 tips off Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, it will be a particularly meaningful moment for one BIG3 player in particular.

When Ice Cube first called me about joining the BIG3, I recognized that this would be a great way for recently retired NBA players like myself to remain in the spotlight. It is great to be playing again, with and against some good friends. And this stage the BIG3 has provided for us, allows us to do more than just get back in the game.