Basketball is back, people! You don’t have to wait for Kenner League to see some Hoyas on the court. Allen Iverson, Mike Sweetney and Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams are among the familiar names participating in Ice Cube’s new 3-on-3 professional league, which kicked off its inaugural summer season this weekend at the Barclays Center. Sweets and A.I. are members of the squad known as “3’s Company,” with Iverson pulling double duty as player-coach and public face of the league.
As you can see from the rosters, a lot of recognizable veteran faces are returning to the floor. Tune in to FS1 tonight at 8pm ET to see who’s still got it.
There are a few twists in the rulebook to make this whole experiment a bit more interesting. The 3-on-3 format is limited to a halfcourt setup, forcing a more aggressive style of play. In addition to the normal ways of scoring, The Big 3 has added 4-point areas to the court, making outside shooting a valuable commodity. First team to 60 wins, with the caveat that play must continue until one side has a 2-point advantage. Ice Cube lays it all out in this video that played on the jumbotron just before tipoff.
They upped the degree of difficulty for fans as well. Photos from the event suggest that some players’ jerseys are labeled only with nicknames, so if your familiarity with the NBA is spotty, get ready to do some googling.
Games will happen every Sunday from now until the end of August, then air the following Monday evenings at 8pm ET on FS1. The full schedule, including the order of matchups for each week, is available here. Given the ubiquity of social media in 2017, it’s puzzling that a network specializing in live sports coverage would acquire the rights then choose to delay their broadcast until 24 hours after the event has ended. Steer clear of twitter if you don’t want spoilers, I guess.
For those who would like to see the action in person, tickets are available through the league’s website. If you want to bring the kids and live close enough that you can visit the venue’s box office, one child (13 or under) is eligible to receive free admission with each adult ticket purchased on-site.
To help plan your viewing strategy for this evening, the lineup is as follows:
WEEK 1 | June 25: Barclays Center | Brooklyn, NY
WEEK 2 | July 2: Spectrum Center | Charlotte, NC
WEEK 3 | July 9: BOK Center | Tulsa, OK
WEEK 4 | July 16: Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
WEEK 5 | July 23: Bridgestone Arena | Nashville, TN
WEEK 6 | July 30: American Airlines Center | Dallas, TX
WEEK 7 | August 6: Rupp Arena | Lexington, KY
WEEK 8 | August 13: Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
WEEK 9 | August 20: Key Arena | Seattle, WA (Playoffs)
WEEK 10 | August 26: T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, NV (Championship)
A little preview of the competition: