Former Denver Nuggets stars Chauncey Billups and Allen Iverson will lace up their sneakers and play professional basketball again starting this summer.
Both have reportedly agreed to participate in a half-court, three-on-three basketball league called BIG3, which is the brain child of rapper/actor Ice Cube. No, I’m not making any of this up.
Here’s how it works: The league starts shortly after the NBA Finals end in June. There are eight teams. Each team, headed by one coach/GM, will have five players. A draft is scheduled for later this spring. Players must be 30 years or older to get drafted.
Billups and former NBA stars such as Stephen Jackson, Mike Bibby, Jermaine O’Neal and Rashard Lewis have all agreed to play, according to Aldridge. Legends George Gervin and Gary Payton will reportedly coach. And Iverson, if Aldridge’s story is to be believed, will play and coach. That’s right, say it with me: Allen Iverson, player/coach!
There will be four games a week for 10 weeks as well as a two-week playoff. The games are held in a different city each week. Players receive $100,000 and can earn bonuses depending on how their teams fare. The first team that scores 60 points wins.
Did we mention there’s a 4-point line? No? Well, there’s a 4-point line.
“Five-on-five, that’s a young man’s sport,” BIG3 president and commissioner Roger Mason Jr. told NBA.com. “The NBA is a young man’s sport. But when you’re talking about half-court basketball, that’s a completely different game. It’s a different skill level. And I think we’re going to capitalize on the fact that you’ve got to be skilled, you’ve got to know the game. If you really break down what the NBA is, it’s really about the three-on-three anyway, with those other guys being spot shooters.”
Mason Jr. played for the San Antonio Spurs and was an executive with the NBA Players Association before deciding to help run the BIG3. Over the next couple of weeks, he’s scheduled to meet with media executives at ESPN, Turner Sports, CBS and Fox in the hopes of finding a partner to broadcast the games, Aldridge reported.
There’s not a whole lot more to say about this bat-shit crazy, potentially fun professional basketball league at this time. But we’ll keep you posted if there are any other developments.
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