Ice Cube’s BIG3 Takes Over The Chi’s United Center

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Ice Cube, founder of BIG 3, watches the games with fellow rap legend LL Cool J at the United Center. (BIG3/Getty Images)

As the BIG3 enters week two of exhilarating 3 on 3 basketball, the league looked to entertain the basketball-crazed fans of the Windy City. In front of nearly 15,000 fans at the United Center on the city’s West Side former NBA players and Hall of Fame coaches took to the hardwood. The BIG3 founded by rapper Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz showcases the faces and talent of NBA golden days from Dr. J (Julius Erving) to Chauncey Billups. Although it strays from the traditional 5 on 5, this three-man team league features games that are played to 50 points on a half court. A team must win by two points and halftime only occurs once one team reaches 25 points. One of the more notable differences from BIG3 in comparison to the NBA is the use of a 4-point shot marker. This eight-team league consists of week-to-week play in a different host city.


The first match up of the night showcased the Ghost Ballers with captain and former Sacramento King Mike Bibby vs Killer 3’s headed by former Detroit Piston Chauncey Billlups. The two teams coached respectively by Hall of Famers George (Ice Man) Gervin and Charles Oakley got off to a flying start. With Carlos Boozer, the former Chicago Bull, scoring some quick buckets, the Ballers got off to an early lead but it soon dwindled as the Killer 3’s got off to a 21- 8 lead. The Ballers crawled back to narrow the gap to four before the Killer 3’s sent the game to half scoring the 25th point. The game picked up with a Baller’s possession and a quick mid ranged two from Boozer. The tempo picked up and both teams went basket for basket before the Killer 3’s eventually pulled away the victory winning 50-44.

Carlos Boozer #5 of Ghost Ballers shoots against Metta World Peace #15 of Killer 3s during week two of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at United Center. (BIG3/Getty Images)


The Second BIG3 game matched up Brain Scalabrine and the Ball Hogs VS Tri-State and their lead man Jermaine O’Neal. The two opponents started the game with tremendous energy, and former Chicago Bull and crowd favorite, Nate Robinson, was active on both sides sinking long shots. The teams were soon tied 11-11 but after a few quick scores by Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns) they were ahead 19-11. They would soon send the game to half with a 26-15 lead. Tri-State would continue their domination second half fighting for every possession. Robinson would again lift the crowd hitting a 4-point shot and putting them ahead 44-21. Tri State would continue bury the ball hogs and go on to win the game 51-34.

Nate Robinson #11 of Tri State reacts during the game against the Ball Hogs. (BIG3/Getty Images)


The third game of the night would be the Power captained by Cuttino Mobley against Dermarr Johnson and his squad 3’s Company. The teams which featured players like Baron Davis, Quentin Richardson and Drew Gooden showcased they were evenly matched. After going score for score for the majority of the beginning the Power soon inched to a 17-7 lead with an impressive defensive display. 3’s Company would shorten the gap but a dagger three-pointer by Chicago product, Corey Maggette, would send the game to half with a 25-15 lead. 3’s Company came out in the next half aggressive and ready to cut down on the lead. With their backs against the wall Baron Davis carried the team to claw back within four with a 48-44 score. But Maggette would seal the victory for the Power 50-44.


In the final marquee matchup for the night, the reigning champion Trilogy led by Kenyon Martin (Denver Nuggets) would face-off against 3 Headed Monster and Captain Rashard Lewis. The crowd, on its feet to see the finale- was pumped. The coaches from both sides have decades of experience and excellence with Hall of Famer Gary Payton (3 Headed Monster) vs. former Detroit (“Bad Boys”) Piston Ric Mahorn. The game started with a quick down low score from Trilogy’s Al Harrington that was answered by a three-pointer by Abdul Rauf (3 Headed Monster). Unlike the previous game, easy buckets were hard to come by due to the stingy defenses. With looks for high percentage shots the slower paced game would see the 3 Headed Monsters up 18-8. Soon after the game crept to a 26-16 half time score. Despite being the defending champs, Trilogy was out rebounded and only saw a big impact from captain Al Harrington. After a few easy buckets the 3 Headed Monsters would dominate the rest of the way taking the W 50-34.

BIG3 will be in action next week from Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.


@Martin Horner 1

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