No More NBA? Don’t Worry, Get Ready for BIG3 Basketball
By Ryan Lipton June 28, 2019
The BIG3 season tipped off this past weekend in Detroit and Indianapolis producing shockwaves that vibrated the basketball landscape. Reggie Evans put on a performance of a life-time hauling in 23 rebounds along with 22 points. Cuttino Mobley was trending on Twitter with his 28 point-performance and Amare Stoudemire time-traveled to his Phoenix Suns days putting up 26 points and 10 rebounds.
The drama didn’t stop there as former Detroit Piston Josh Smith and Royce White, two names with quite the hype entering the season, were ejected minutes into the game after tempers flared.
It is possible you didn’t know what the BIG3 was entering this season or entering this past weekend. But after the Week 1 showing, the BIG3 is making headway.
So, if you are like the common basketball fan and have been easily distracted by all the drama that has come with the 2019 NBA Finals and pending NBA Free Agency and haven’t been able to get ready for the 2019 BIG3 season, we got you.
As such, here is a quick preview for the BIG3 highlighting the big-name talent on each team, the headlines entering the season and a quick history of each team. After reading this, you will be a BIG3 expert.
3 Headed Monsters
After finishing 7-1 in 2018 and earning a playoff berth for the second-straight season, the 3-Headed Monsters look to break through and finally win a BIG3 championship. They lost in the BIG3 Championship Game in 2017 and the semifinals in 2018. Fortunately, the 3-Headed Monsters still have former league-MVP Rashard Lewis leading the way along with stat-stuffer Reggie Evans and veteran Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. On the younger side, the talented Mario Chalmers and Larry Sanders fill out the roster with Tre Simmons.
With a disappointing start to the inaugural Big3 season finishing 3-5, 3’s company responded well in 2018 earning their first ever BIG3 playoff berth after a 5-3 regular season. In the postseason, 3’s company defeated the 3-Headed Monsters in the semifinals before losing to Power in the 2018 BIG3 Championship Game. Coached by Michael Cooper, 3’s company looks to use the championship loss as motivation to make big things happen in 2019. Andre Emmett, 2018 league leader in field goals, will guide the way along with captain Dermarr Johnson and co-captains Baron Davis and Drew Gooden.
The Aliens, the second team announced in the 2019 BIG3 expansion, are lead by former first overall pick in the 2018 BIG3 draft Andre Owens, who placed top seven in blocks and assists in 2018. The roster is filled out with supremely athletic and two-time NBA Champion Shannon Brown (co-captain) and three-point specialist Brandon Rush (co-captain). The Aliens also boast some serious height with former NBA number one overall selection Greg Oden and seven-footer Ryan Hollins. If the Alien’s bigs stay healthy, NBA Hall of Famer and coach Nate Archibald will hope to exploit the team’s height to create many matchup difficulties for opposing BIG3 teams.
After just three wins combined in the first two seasons, the Ball Hogs are looking to right the ship in 2019 with an infusement of new talent to replace the departure of former 2018 BIG3 number one overall selection Andre Owens. The team returns captain Brian Scalarbine and co-captains DeShawn Stevenson, 2018 league leader in three-pointers made, and Josh Childress. However, the promise begins with multi-sport athlete Jermaine Taylor and the world’s highest-ranked 3×3 basketball player Dusan Bulut.
Bivouac, the third team announced in the 2019 BIG3 expansion, headlines three former Detroit Pistons in captain Josh Smith along with co-captains Will Bynum and Shawne Williams. Sharp-shooting Anthony Morrow joins the team as a co-captain along with Dion Glover, a former NBA first-round draft pick. Reggie Theus will bring his lengthy resume of playing and coaching experience to the sidelines in hopes of making an under-the-radar run in the Bivouac’s first BIG3 season.
The Enemies, the final team to be announced in the 2019 BIG3 expansion, will boast a plethora of big-name NBA players and high draft picks. Gilbert Arenas will captain the team with Lakers legend Lamar Odom and former NBA first-round pick Perry Jones III as co-captains. The team also boasts 2019 BIG3 draft first overall selection Royce White and well-rounded big-man Craig Smith. Rick Mahorn will coach the team and hopefully bring a tough-nosed defensive attitude to the Enemies.
Despite making the playoffs in the BIG3’s inaugural season, the Ghost Ballers have a franchise record of just 5-11 following a one-win 2018 campaign. However, the team will be able to rely heavily on their experience as captain Mike Bibby, co-captain Ricky Davis and coach George “The Iceman” Gervin are all entering their third BIG3 season along with former Utah Jazz star and co-captain Carlos Boozer entering his second season. Former NBA players Jamario Moon, Alex Scales and Mike Taylor hope to be the difference makers for the Ghost Ballers in their third BIG3 season.
Despite possessing notable names in Ron Artest, Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson in 2018, the team missed the playoffs winning just three regular season games. Jackson, the only returning member of the trio, will lead the 2019 Killer 3’s as the captain. Los Angeles and Drew League star Franklin Session, co-captain, should have the opportunity to make a national name for himself alongside two-time NBA champion with the Lakers Josh Powell. The rest of the roster is rounded out with talented yet underrated former NBA players in CJ Watson, Donte Green and Eddy Curry. With just five wins in the BIG3’s first two seasons, the Killer 3’s look to earn their first playoff berth in team history with a reloaded roster.
After a 3-5 inaugural season in the BIG3, Tri-State improved to five wins in 2018 making the playoffs for the team’s very first time before losing 51-49 in the semifinals to the eventual BIG3 champions, Power. Tri-State will return their notable core of Jermaine O’Neal, Nate Robinson, Amar’e Stoudemire and Bonzi Wells. But the team didn’t rest in the offseason adding 2x NBA Dunk Champion Jason Richardson and former NBA guard Yakhouba Diawara. Tri-State will hope their team can rekindle its old magic as it has a plethora of guys who had unbelievable stretches in the NBA.
The Power built on a .500 campaign in the inaugural BIG3 season by winning the 2018 BIG3 Championship. Nancy Liberman, the first ever woman coach in a professional men’s sports league, will have her key players returning for the 2019 campaign in captain Corey Maggette, co-captain Cuttino Mobley, co-captain Glen Davis, Chris Andersen and Quentin Richardson. Mychel Thompson, brother of Warriors guard Klay Thompson, is a late addition to Power who will be replacing Ryan Gomes. With almost the entire squad returning, the Power have to like its chances to become the first-ever BIG3 back-to-back champions.
After an undefeated run culminating in the 2017 BIG3 Championship, Trilogy posted a 3-5 record in 2018 and missed the playoffs. Former BIG3 Player Captain of the Year Kenyon Martin will move to the sidelines replacing former Trilogy coach Rick Mahorn. But Martin’s first-year head coaching job will not come easy. Trilogy will be without 2018 BIG3 scoring leader Al Harrington and the number one selection in the 2017 BIG3 draft Rashad McCants. James White, co-captain, will be the only returning player but will get needed help from NBA sharp-shooter and captain Jason Terry. David Hawkins is the other co-captain and will play alongside seven-footer Patrick O’Bryant, Pittsburgh standout Sam Young and Puerto Rican star Carlos Arroyo. Trilogy might not possess the most notable names in the BIG3, but their youth may come to be a major advantage in a league dominated by older names.
The Triplets, the first team announced in the 2019 BIG3 expansion, are led by two household basketball names. Lisa Leslie, a Naismith Hall of Famer, 2x WNBA Champion, 3x WNBA MVP and 4x Olympic Gold Medalist, will join Nancy Lieberman as the only other women’s coach in professional men’s sports. Joe Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star, joins the Triplets as the captain and is just a few years removed from playing an instrumental role for the Utah Jazz. Long-time NBA players Jannero Pargo and Al Jefferson will enter as co-captains. Chris Johnson, Alan Anderson and Sergerio Gipson will round out the depth of the team.