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Chauncey Billups, Allen Iverson among former Denver Nuggets competing in the BIG 3 league

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The OGs still got it goin’ on.

Allen Iverson speaks at a Big3 press conference.

As the NBA playoffs heat up, the Big3 is working hard in the background to get ready for their debut season this summer. This new league is founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, and kicks off after the NBA Finals have finished with the goal of bringing the excitement of the NBA All-Star game to cities across the nation.

The What:

According to the Big3 official webpage, the concept is simply a 3 on 3 professional basketball league. The objective is to bring superstar talent, and provide fans with an opportunity to interact with players before and after the game. The league will be operated and managed only by the players.

The Big3 has some interesting rules that will provide for very entertaining basketball. First, the setup will be centered on hardwood courts, and in place of tip off there will be a half-court “do-or-die” shootout.

Standard 2 and 3 point shots apply, but there is also opportunity for a 4 point shot. The official rules state that the 4 point shot applies when a player is touching any part of the 4 point circle. Additionally, the typical “And 1” rule applies making it possible for a player to receive an additional free throw shot if they are fouled while shooting. That means there’s an opportunity for up to 5 points in a single play. However, the run-and-gun type players may struggle with the slower half-court setup and it’s likely we will see a higher level of physicality. This will benefit players like Kenyon Martin who is arguably one of the toughest of the former Nuggets players in this league.

Among the other notable guidelines, all personal fouls will be counted as team fouls meaning there will be no foul-outs. A technical foul will result in 2 shots and possession of the ball, and all subsequent technical fouls will result in 4 shots and possession. There are no standard quarters, but rather, the first team to 60 points wins with halftime taking place only after one team reaches 30 points. However, the winning team must win by at least 4 points. All defensive strategies will be allowed, and the defensive 3-second rule does not apply so be prepared to see zone defense in use.

The Who:

The Big3 boasts retired NBA superstars of all ages. The league’s youngest player is Xavier Silas at 29 years old with the team “Tri-State”. Silas has 1 year of NBA experience. The oldest player in this league will be Charles Oakley at 53 years old who is slated to play with Chauncey Billups and the Killer 3s. Oakley brings a total of 19 years of NBA experience to his team. Each team’s 5 person roster has been filled and is now published.

If you’re a Nuggets fan, you probably recognize some names on these rosters. There are quite a few former Nuggets playing in the Big3 this year. The team 3s Company has a total of 3 one-time Nuggets to include Allen “The Answer” Iverson. The complete list is shown in the table below.

Player Position Years in Denver Career PPG
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf PG 90-96 14.6
Chauncey Billups SG/PG 98-00, 08-10 15.2
Reggie Evans PF 05-07 4.1
Al Harrington SF, PF, C 10-12 13.5
Allen Iverson SG/PG 06-09 26.7
DerMarr Johnson SG/SF 04-07 6.2
Kenyon Martin PF/C 04-11 12.3
Ruben Patterson SG/SF 05-06 10.7

The When:

There will be four games per day beginning Saturday, June 25th in Brooklyn and continuing every Saturday for ten consecutive weeks. The “regular season” wraps up after week 8, with a week 9 playoffs, and a week 10 championship round on August 26th in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Denver appearance on the books, but you can see the full schedule here to find a city to visit to get in on the action.

Games will be aired the following Monday night on Fox Sports beginning at 8 pm ET. The championship round will be aired live on August 26th on Fox Broadcast Network beginning at 4:30 pm ET.

Given the caliber of talent signed up to play in this league, I can see this being a post-NBA aspiration for players in years to come. I’m most excited to see the clash between the old-school vs. the new generation players. I would love to see Charles Barkley put his money where his mouth is and prove once and for all whether or not his era’s style of play is better. While we likely won’t see grumpy out on the court, we will get to see if the “old guys” still have it.