At this time last year, the company line for the start of the new season for the Big 3 read as follows:
“In the midst of the COVID-19 world pandemic and its uncontrollable nature, the BIG3 season four will return in Summer 2021. The BIG3 always wants to deliver the best for our fans under safe conditions. Due to a confluence of issues including safety, uncertainty of testing, changing government regulations, insurance and liability issues, sponsor and advertiser challenges of their own, and the changing nature of the virus itself, the decision was made to focus on a great return in 2021.
“Ultimately, we need the fan experience and the games themselves to be great. While other leagues have more immediate financial considerations, as a rising league, we need to put the fan experience above all and ensure each season is better than the one before.”
Their projected return date proved quite accurate as League co-owner O’Shea ‘Ice Cube’ Jackson responded to a fans question to the status of the league this year with the 2021 schedule. The BIG3 is slated to begin its fourth season this July 10th and the 10-week season with commence on September 4th with the Championship Final. With the uncertainty of the pandemic still in the midst, the barnstorming National city-to-city treks have been reduced.
“After a challenging year, we can’t wait to have our players back on the court for the best BIG3 season yet––where the world’s top competitors come together on one court and provide fans with an unmatched entertainment experience,” BIG3 co-founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz said in a press release. “We are excited to bring the BIG3 to two basketball rich cities and we know our players will put on a show,” BIG3 CEO Chris Hannan said. “We are happy to have two great host cities in Las Vegas and New Orleans for our fourth season, bringing our fast paced and one-of-a-kind game back to fans across the country.” The latter part of the statement, referring to fans across the country, will come courtesy of CBS, the broadcasting partner throughout the season. The extent that fan attendance will be constituted have yet to be revealed but those decisions will be made in coordination with the league, health and safety officials in those respective cities.
2020 was set to unveil new innovations to the product offered on the court in an effort to bring optimal excitement to its fans. This year the league will look to inject some youthful exuberance by lowering the minimum age requirement from 27 to 22 years old. Aside from allowing for younger players, the game will also offer opportunity for hungry players as it recently announced its first-ever open tryouts for the fourth season to be held at Athletic Republic Capitol Region, just south of Washington, D.C. on May 22 and Drive Nation Sports in Dallas, Texas on May 27. Athletes must be 22 years or older to participate, but don’t require any professional sports experience. A minimum of five players from each location will be chosen to receive an all-expenses paid trip to the 2021 BIG3 combine being held in Las Vegas on June 4.
“One of the most unique and pivotal parts of this league is its acceptance of all athletes, no matter their experience level, age or background. We encourage anyone and everyone who thinks they can compete to come out and show us what they’ve got,” says BIG3 co-founders, Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz.
“We are expecting these tryouts to deliver a new and exciting pool of competitors in the month of May. Our team captains and coaches are anticipating an extensive turnout for 2021 as they plan to continually build momentum. With every season, each team has proven themselves to be strong challengers and this year is no different. It’s a privilege to visit these cities and we are thankful to both Athletic Republic and Drive Nation Sports for their warm welcomes,” says BIG3 Commissioner, Clyde Drexler.
Coming from obscurity to a chance to ball against decorated former NBA players the likes of Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, Stephen Jackson, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Rashard Lewis or coached by Hall Of Fame legends like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, George Gervin, Gary Payton, and the last two Coach of the Year winners, Lisa Leslie and Nancy Lieberman makes for a perfect summer vacation.
Knicks, Nets, The Rucker, Dyckman and the Big 3. Ballllliinnnnnnn!!!!!
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then enjoy the nightlife.