The BIG3 has generally been received with mixed views thus far, but there are ways to improve it. Ice Cube should grab a pen and jot down some notes. So far, Ice Cube has shown his openness to making changes. Instantly, after the first week of BIG3 was filled with injuries and one game that couldn’t be viewed fully. The adjustments came right away for the next week of games. Games were shortened to first team to 50 points wins instead of 60. This in return reduced the injury rate and allowed for all 4 games to fill the 3-hour time slot.
Now, we can only hope that Ice Cube has done enough for BIG3 to be returned for a second season. The boos in Philly didn’t look good and same goes for the low attendance in Tulsa. Ice Cube needs to start making changes now and this writer has a few ideas based on the feedback the league has received from fans on social media.
Here are 5 changes that will help BIG3 make some real noise in the sports world.
5. No Box Score For The Stat Geeks
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge stat geek. This is certainly, one way the BIG3 league could improve. There should ways to access a box score for stat geeks and basketball pages that have to report on this stuff. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t lie. That is what Jay-Z said in his song “Reminder” and what Patrick Beverley told Russell Westbrook in the 2017 NBA playoffs.
Present us fans with access to the stat sheets and we will tell you who is balling or who is falling. Apparently, this league is going to be announcing an MVP at the end of the season, but I can only begin to guess who the frontrunners are? My guesses would be Al Harrington, Mike Bibby and Rashard Lewis. That’s just a hunch because that’s all we fans have to go on. We don’t know these players efficiency, assist-turnover ratio, or any of that statistical jazz.
4. More Guest Music Appearances
It baffles me, how Ice Cube isn’t tapping more into the connections he has in the music world. Cube needs to execute his networking skills to get other rappers and singers to perform at the games during intermission. It creates an entertainment aspect that no other sport would be able to rival on a nightly basis. I know that stars show up to these games. We’ve seen LL Cool J, Fat Joe, and Fabolous just to name a few.
Who’s to say this just has to be exclusive to music. What about getting his Ride Along co-star and comedian Kevin Hart to make an appearance? This guy is gold when mic’d up. Ice Cube could provide a platform to NBA rappers like Shaq, Dame Dolla, and Lonzo Ball. Make this more about just basketball. Make it about basketball with unparalleled entertainment. That’s how you make your mark on the sports world. Ratings will be through the roof. Ice Cube could also perform again soon. Cube still has it. Correction, he never lost it.
3. Less Fouls, More Flow
At times when watching the BIG3, it is tough to stay engaged with the action. Since, that competitive first week, it hasn’t been the same quality of play. The games are supposed to be no hand check fouls, but they call almost every ticky tack foul. Even, NBA refs have shown more restraint. Games should be decided by the players, not the officials. What makes basketball a great sport is the fast pace and action of the game. When a surplus of fouls are called, the flow in the game is depleted. Fans will tune out and probably go watch Vegas Summer League when this occurs.
Remember Cube, when you advertise a product to be like old time basketball, then you better be dang close. Since, free throws can be worth anywhere from 2 to 4 points depending on where the player shot from on the foul, it is way easier to decide games on the foul line. Game icing free throws. Yeah, that’s not fun to watch. Practice what you preach Cube.
2. Less “Curry Land” References
Most fans that I’ve talked with seem to be annoyed with the BIG3 announcer, Gus Johnson’s newly acquired catchphrase. Anytime, a player hits or simply attempts a four point shot, Johnson yells “(Insert Player Name) from Curry Land”. It was okay to be used once or twice, but every time is unoriginal and lazy. Great announcing is what keeps a viewer on the edge of their seat when watching. It is what magnifies great moments in sports. It’s like JR. calling a Stone Cold match or Mike Breen calling an NBA playoff game. It’s electric and even regular plays become somewhat greater.
I know Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson can do a much better job at the announcer’s desk to make this BIG3 action much more enjoyable. The play on the court is a product, time to sell it to us. No, we don’t care about how many players Jim Jackson has played with for the thousandth time. The answer is 13, but you already knew that.
1. The Face Of League Is Garbage
Many fans came to see Allen Iverson. Many fans left disappointed. “The Answer” has left us questioning his ability to play basketball at this point or even coach for that matter. Iverson in 3 games for 3's Company has shot 3-13 from the field. That is just a taste of how bad he has been on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, he can’t stay in front of any match-up. Iverson looks gassed at times and like he’s lost a step or 2.
If Iverson is the face of the league, then it doesn’t say much about this league. The player coach has led his team to a 1-3 record in 4 weeks of play. Iverson has been the worse player on the court at times. Maybe, it's time to hang up the jersey and just watch from the sideline.
For the record, Allen Iverson is one of my all-time favorites. This was tough to write, but even tougher for the fans to watch on the TV. It was overhyped, back to the drawing board to find a new face of the league. Al Harrington isn’t too far away. Give Trilogy some love.