BIG3 Diary Series: Andre Owens
By Andre Owens August 7, 2017
Word to the wise: Don’t get in my way.
I will conquer everything that’s put in front of me. I will silence all critics. That’s why I’ve decided to change my name. No more Andre Owens. From now on, call me Rambo. No last name. Just Rambo.
Why Rambo? Because I’m built for war. My whole life I’ve been build for war. I’m battle-tested.
The idea came to me a couple weeks back while I was competing on the court against Kendall Gill, getting ready for that week’s BIG3 action in Chicago. Kendall’s a good dude and all, but things got pretty heated once we started playing. That’s just how it is.
Since the BIG3 started, the competitive juices have been flowing. The competitive nature of any professional athlete is always going to come out once you cross those lines. Whether it’s the tennis court, the football field — it doesn’t matter what it is. All professional athletes have something that triggers in them that need to want to compete at the highest level.
You can never turn that off. I don’t care how old you get, I don’t care how young you are. That’s why certain people make it to the professional level – they have that motor that’s going to drive them to compete at a high level.
Me? I’ll compete at any level. I take this very seriously — hate to lose. I don’t care if I’m playing against kids. I’m still gonna kick them in the ankle and try to win!
So it felt great to hit the game-winning 3-pointer last week and help my team, 3’s Company, pick up our second win. With two games left in the regular season, we’ve still got a shot at the playoffs. Just have to take it one game at a time. We can’t look too far ahead – that’s already been a problem for me once this season, but it won’t happen again.
After a strong start in the BIG3, I was hearing the whispers – maybe some NBA teams are taking notice and this is an opportunity to get back to the NBA. My agent was hearing it, too. And I got caught up in it for a couple of weeks. People were calling me and telling me I’m gonna get another shot at the NBA. You start pressing a little bit, and that takes the fun out of it.
And even though it’s a battle out there, the battle is lost if you’re not having fun. I think my play reflected that.
So like Rambo, I focused on one thing: total annihilation. I just said, “Whatever happens, happens,” and I got back to enjoying it. I’m gonna just keep it under wraps. If I get back to the NBA, it’s a blessing. If not, I’m enjoying playing in the BIG3, so I’m just letting everything fall into place.
The BIG3 has been phenomenal. I can’t be any happier with the atmosphere of playing in this league — the camaraderie of players reminiscing about the old times. That’s the most fun. You’ll win games and you’ll use games, but being around this atmosphere, seeing the celebrities coming to watch you play. It’s been a blessing.
But don’t think for a second that camaraderie and reminiscing means that guys aren’t going at it hard. Since opening day, I could tell this was a competitive league. The moment I really saw this was serious business came two weeks later.
It was during our Week 3 game against Trilogy. They’ve been an unstoppable force all season, but we gave them all they could handle that day. There was a loose ball that our guy, Ruben Patterson, and Al Harrington were chasing. Next thing you know, they’re both diving into the stands — and they fell on Ice Cube’s wife! They were really getting after it!
That’s what you’ve got to do. I’m just trying to do everything I can to lead my team to victory, help them out any way possible. That’s all I can do and all I can ask for – to leave it all out on the floor so when I wake up the next morning to watch the game, I don’t have to question my effort.
Our team was very focused last week when we got that big win over Power. Now we’ve got another must-win game against the Killer 3s. One game at a time. We just have to prepare for the Killer 3s – which means stopping Reggie Evans. They’ve got two great scorers in Stephen Jackson and Chauncey Billups, but Evans is the key to their team. He’s been crashing the boards and getting so many rebounds, offensive and defensive. Second-chance opportunities have been their strength. We just have to focus on Reggie Evans not giving guys second-chance shots.
Sounds like a job for Rambo!
Oh yeah, I’m still serious about changing my name to Rambo. There’s really only one thing preventing that from happening right now: My mom doesn’t want me to.
But I’m not giving up. I’m gonna try to get her to change her mind. Maybe I’ll show up at her house in a couple of weeks with a red bandanna around my head. Show her this is real.
For now, though, it’s back to war in the BIG3.