Q&A With the Commish, Clyde ‘The Glide’ Drexler
By Craig Ellenport June 19, 2018
Hall of Famer Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was named BIG3 commissioner on March 15. Drexler, the 10-time NBA All-Star and hoops legend, has been with the league since its inception, serving last season as coach of Power. With Season 2 of the BIG3 tipping off this Friday at Houston’s Toyota Center (live on Facebook Watch and FS1), we caught up with The Glide to get his thoughts on the state of the league:
What are your goals as commissioner of the BIG3?
CLYDE DREXLER: The goal is to just continue to make sure that the fans and player experience is at a very high level. The professional game of 3-on-3 is the best in the world. The BIG3 league is the best there is in 3-on-3. So to continue to foster that entertainment value, to make sure our players have the best experience as they display their skills. Making sure that the promotion and marketing of the BIG3 gets its just due around the world. It’s a legitimate sport — it’s now an Olympic competition. So BIG3 is here to stay. I just want to oversee, continue to work on the rules and competition level of the BIG3, making sure that we are moving the league forward at all times, working closely with our corporate partners to make sure they’re getting all that they can out of the BIG3. Just to continue to move the game and the league forward in every way.
With 3-on-3 basketball so popular around the world, where does the BIG3 fit in that landscape?
CD: We are having some dialog, because we want to be as big player when it comes to the Olympics and USA Basketball, which is the governing body in this country for the Olympics. We want to be a player. We want our guys to have representation and we want to figure prominently in the decision-making for 3-on-3 in the Olympics.
How was the first year of BIG3?
CD: As a coach, it was phenomenal. The vision of co-founders Jeff Kwatinetz and Ice Cube was incredible. The quality of play, the level of solid organization… everything was perfect. And it was just the first year. You always want to improve on what you started, but the first year was pretty phenomenal. And so when I had the chance to become commissioner, I was more than happy to take the helm. I truly believe in the vision of the BIG3. Along with the co-founders, they have an incredible think-tank with Amy Trask, Mark Geragos, Ben Meisalas. It’s just an incredible organization. For a startup organization, these guys have crossed all of the t’s and dotted all the i’s, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of it.
What do you hear from your friends in the basketball world about BIG3?
CD: A lot of people were just curious to see what it was last season, and last season was such a success that everyone now sees the vision of the BIG3 and knows the BIG3 is here to stay. Everyone is happy for the success, because almost all the players have come from the NBA, so it’s the same family. It’s a part of the same family. So they’re supportive. At the end of the day, the BIG3 stands on its own as one of the premier sporting leagues in this country. And if we have our way, we’re going to increase that throughout the world. That’s the vision of Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, and everyone is working hard to make that happen.
What are the immediate challenges for the league?
CD: The biggest challenge thus season, with the addition of Young3 and increasing the level of incredible players that have joined the BIG3, the biggest challenge is going to be marketing. To let the public know exactly how good our product is. We have an incredible product, we have incredible players. It’s run really well. In every city, they need to know exactly what the BIG3 is, what it stands for and how much talent there is. If you love basketball, the BIG3 is the best there is throughout the summer. You don’t want to miss it. So our challenge is to get that out to the public, and let them know how special our product is.
We’re looking forward to some action-packed games, a lot of excitement. And with the Young3 program, the grass roots program, we hope to do a lot for the communities that we visit, especially as it pertains to the youth. Jerome Williams is running the Young3 and he’s awesome, he’s been doing it with the NBA for years. He took the ball and ran with it, and he’s almost sold out for the year. That’s how good he is.
Our partnership with Adidas is huge, because it’s going to enable us to reach youth in every city, to also refurbish courts in every city we go to. It’s great to give back, and Adidas has been a great partner.
We had great crowds last year. The crowds were into it, the players were into it. It was like, wow, this is professional basketball. And with the 4-point shot it brings an added level of excitement. No other league has the drama, the excitement and the level of expertise. These guys are really good at what they do.