Why I’m Joining The BIG3
By Oliver Maroney November 12, 2019
From the Beginning, It’s Been Passion Driven.
It was about 3 years ago when Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz spoke with me about how the BIG3 was formed. They passionately conveyed the message of their plan, how they’d execute it and what it would take. From the four-point shot to hand-checking, they knew what they were doing and had a clear vision. That’s when I became a fan. It was before the league had even tipped off.
For me, I’ve covered and watched basketball for as long as I can remember. The early days of my basketball viewing coincidentally involve the BIG3’s commissioner Clyde Drexler as a Portland Trail Blazer. My family and I would watch Trail Blazer games through the 2000s, where I vividly remember watching highlights and replays of “Clyde the Glide.”
While in middle school and high school, I turned my focus to covering high school basketball at the Oregonian. I counted statistics and box scores for the price of a ticket to the game. It was then that I found the love for telling stories and being genuinely curious about each player and coach I covered.
Since then, I’ve gone into various roles and opportunities to help provide for my family. I started my own blog, wrote freelance and balanced full-time roles. However, during most of my time, I largely wrote about the NBA and built relationships that go beyond just basketball.
When the BIG3 officially started, my focus shifted immensely. That passion Jeff and Cube spoke with, that attention to detail they had, it was different from anything else I’d witnessed or seen. I paid my way and traveled to some of the cities becoming friends with a lot of the players, coaches, and staff. I was on the ground floor witnessing BIG3 become a household name. Even though I wasn’t always there, this league made me feel like I was a part of an extended family.
Fast forward to now, it’s been three seasons of watching this league grow and improve. For three seasons, I’ve spent a large part of my summers watching, contributing and viewing the incredibly competitive and entertaining league that Jeff, Cube, Clyde, Amy, Justin, Angelica, and the other team members have built. Every season it gets better and every year I’m amazed at the potential of this league.
These players have something to play for whether it’s for family, a playoff berth or a way to get back into the NBA. The coaches are legends who want to win and want their players to succeed. The fans are the best of any sport and the number of fans is growing by the day. In summary, this league is the most unique professional sports league in the world.
It’s why I’m so pleased, thankful and excited to announce that I’m joining the BIG3 on a full-time basis.
Since that first conversation with Jeff and Cube, the league has only grown on me. From being in the locker room for Trilogy’s undefeated season, to seeing Joe Johnson win MVP and hoist the championship trophy in front of LeBron James and a rocking L.A. crowd, these are moments that are embedded in my memory forever. These are moments I want you guys to feel and see as well.
Before the BIG3 launched, Jeff famously asked Cube “Are you ready to burn the ships?” That meant there was no going back. And to that, my personal response would be the same as Cube’s (minus a few words) — “Give me the torch.”
I can’t wait for season four and I know this is just the beginning for us as a league and organization.