2 Cent Tuesday: Ice Cube’s BIG3 Basketball

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog weighs in on the newly launched Ice Cube inspired sports league cleverly named BIG3 Basketball.

The appropriately named BIG3 Basketball League combines rapper, actor, entrepreneur Ice Cube’s concept of former “big time” NBA players playing competitive 3 on 3 half-court games.

When learning about the BIG3’s debut, the hoops junkie in me just had to watch coverage of the games on FOX Sports.

Last night, I finally got my chance, and I was certainly entertained, but not how you might think. Basketball purists were probably mildly offended, but sports minded entertainment seekers were certainly satisfied.

Checking out the BIG3 action served up all the predictable, but entertaining content of Ice Cube’s top movies: Fist Fight, Ride Along and Barbershop.

Not Oscar worthy flicks, but the new BIG3 production was definitely worth watching especially if you’re a round ball fan.

The BIG3 Play Was Sloppy, But…

The quality of play and level of athleticism most commonly attributed to basketball players with NBA resumes was underwhelming.

The BIG3 play was sloppy, the players’ skill level had noticeably waned and the physicality of the games was ponderously ugly at times. Some players even failed to recognize the nuances of the 3 on 3 games for their advantage.

And, most of the players were big, much bigger physically than during their heyday. Most now tip the scales generously above their last known NBA playing weight. Yet, they still displayed a passion for the game and offered plenty of off-the-cuff remarks within earshot of microphones eager to pick up their comments.

Thankfully, no future Hall of Famers or recent All-Pro players suited up, thus keeping my fond memories of those legends safely in check.

However, former NBA “stars” now highly coveted BIG3 picks comprised the BIG3 rosters on display last night as they tussled with fellow former pros.

A much chubbier Rashad McCants was clearly the star of last night’s quadruple header. He dominated from the perimeter as well as off the dribble.

A heavier and greyed Cuttino Mobley showed little mobility, but still offered a whole bunch of scoring skill.

A very girthy Lee Nailon was even more unrecognizable in a BIG3 uniform than he was when few fans once knew him in an NBA jersey.

Former first pick in the NBA Draft Kwame Brown showed off the same raw athleticism with little accompanying skill as he did in a Lakers uniform.

And, a super-sized and absurdly immobile Michael Sweetney looked totally gassed after just a few half court possessions.

Congratulations to Ice Cube on BIG3 League

Congratulations to Ice Cube and his team for creating a buzz of excitement around the newly minted BIG3 league.

Though the level of play failed to meet my expectations, the quality of entertainment value exceeded them.

Last night’s electric atmosphere at the University of Illinois at Chicago reminded me of watching great summer pick-up games with friends at the local park. The buzz seemed palpable and the authenticity of the audience was genuine. Quite simply, people were having fun.

As a couch bound viewer, I was entertained by Ice Cube’s BIG3 Basketball games in the same vein as witnessing a WWE bout.

For example:

I laughed when I immediately noticed how Brian Scalabrine barely squeezed into his BIG3 team uniform.

I chuckled as I watched a chubby cheeked Allen Iverson actually attempt to coach his team. Imagine that? Allen Iverson coaching!

I grimaced when a few talentless players struggled to draw iron from the 3 point line or whiffed like cape wielding matadors attempting to guard their opponents.

I winced when I saw former NBA bully Kenyon Martin enter the game and get into a scrum on his very first possession and proceed to unnecessarily jaw about it for the next several possessions.

And, I covered my eyes when the refs swallowed their whistles and allowed a slug fest to take place on just about every possession.

However, I watched all four games last night and went to bed grinning.

Ice Cube’s new entertainment endeavor made me smile.

The same swarms of people normally seen at Las Vegas prize fights came out in style in Chicago. Chance the Rapper, Minister Farakkan, legendary Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys Rick Mahorn and Mark Aguirre, wormy Michael Rappaport, actresses, street hoods, oddsmakers, playground wanna-bees, wives, girlfriends, former mistresses and basketball lovers of all shapes, sizes and colors were in attendance.

The play may have left me wanting.

But, the sense of a developing new community, a desire for a new basketball fraternity, a chance for folks of all kinds to be seen, a profound love for an ever evolving game and the overall entertainment value of Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball made me a fan.

And, that’s my 2 cents!

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MIKE – the ultimate talking head on sports!

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