Big 3


August 9 17

With one week left in the BIG3’s inaugural season, the league conducted its weekly call Wednesday afternoon with members of the media. On the call were BIG3 co-founders Ice Cube, commissioner Roger Mason Jr. and CEO Amy Trask. Some highlights of the call:

  • Opening remarks from Ice Cube: “We really appreciate you guys spending time to get into the BIG3 and hear what’s going on with us. We’re really excited about this year. We had a great Week 7 in Lexington.”
Cube expressed the feeling that it was important for fans in such a passionate basketball state as Kentucky to embrace what the BIG3 is going.

“We had over 8,000 fans in attendance, families came from all over the area, some walking into Rupp Arena for the first time” said Cube. “Lexington featured some of the most intense basketball and competition that we’ve seen so far… Physicality was at an all-time high.

“Lexington is a huge basketball hotbed. For us to succeed long-term, we need basketball fans to see what we have to offer. This was a huge win for us, because we believe that basketball community will spread the word about the BIG3 – that our basketball is as intense as it can get.”

  • In previewing the Week 8 games in Los Angeles, Cube ran through some of the playoff tie-breaking scenarios. The complete playoff scenario can be found here.
  • Mason announced that Stephen Jackson of the Killer 3s was named the BIG3 Player of the Week. “Stephen exemplifies what this BIG3 is all about,” said Mason. “He’s tough. A scorer with high energy. Puts it all on the line when he plays. He’s been one of the league’s elite players from the beginning of the season, and his Week 7 performance showed the type of fearless competitor he is. “ Jackson scored a Week 7-best 25 points, also pulling down 4 offensive rebounds and dishing 4 assists.
  • Jackson is fighting for the first-ever BIG3 scoring title – he enters Week 8 trailing Rashard Lewis of the 3-Headed Monsters by one point.
  • Cube talked about the anticipation of playing the Week 8 games in his hometown of Los Angeles. “I’m excited about finally being home. … Coming to the Staples Center is symbolic for me, because this is where I’ve seen the Lakers win championships. And when I envisioned the BIG3, I envisioned it to be in places like the Staples Center.”
  • While some teams are already eliminated from playoff contention, there is every expectation that the Week 8 games will be as competitive as they’ve been all season. “It’s critical for guys to win now,” said Cube. “Even guys who are not in a championship run, they’ve still got to put good basketball on tape for next year, because a lot of these guys will be sent back to the draft pool. So if you dial it in the last few weeks, then you really don’t have those weeks of showing the team captain that they should pick you again… You have to ball out if you want to stay a part of the league. And that’s what it’s all about. We’ve always said, names are great, but it’s not about the name. It’s about the game.”
  • When asked about interest from other retired NBA players, Cube and Mason both said the calls have been coming. Mason said he’s fielded some calls from players who even wanted to get in on the action this season. “The interest has just continued to build,” he said. “It’s been encouraging.”
  • Cube was asked where he sees the BIG3 in the next five years. “I’m just worried about the next five weeks,” he said. “But I expect us to be part of the fabric of American sports. Not just American sports but world sports… I believe we have a worldwide brand that can go anywhere in the world and entertain people. I expect it to just get bigger and better.”

  • Killer 3s captain Chauncey Billups is out this week with a quad injury. Billups will be replaced by Brian Cook.
  • For Power, Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams will return to action after missing last week. Turner Gill will be inactive to make room for JYD.