Attending the Big3 League games in Philadelphia on Sunday was pretty fun.
But there was plenty about the event that felt lacking. Fans clearly weren’t watching an NBA product but they also weren’t watching something as flashy and fun as the And1 Mixtape Tour.
And that was kind of the problem. What is the Big3 League trying to be?
Rashad McCants was balling. Al Harrington was a beast on the block. Rashard Lewis had some swagger. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s quickness and super-smooth release were fun to watch.
But the somewhat inconsequential three-on-three games seemed to be lacking something in format. What were these teams playing for? Nobody seemed to know. Or care.
One of the more enjoyable moments for me as a fan came when NBA legend Gary Payton was up and animated from his coaching perch on the sidelines. He was clearly jawing with Stephen Jackson who quickly proceeded to hit a four-point shot directly in front of Payton and did some fantastic posing. It was a fun moment. But fans needed way more of it.
The basketball, for the most part, was pretty fun. But the Big3 League needed more entertainment.
Why aren’t the coaches mic’d up? Why don’t they add a little more fake beef to all of the matchups. I wanted to see Charles Oakley and The Glove get into a little shoving match, even if it was totally scripted BS a la the WWE.
I could barely hear what Julius Erving and Allen Iverson said to the crowd when they took the mic but it was clearly working to excite people.
I was half joking at the time, but a female fan from the crowd coming on court to hit a four-point shot for a $200 prize was one of the more exciting plays of the evening.
And all of this is said without even getting to the Iverson debacle.
I’m not as much disappointed that Iverson didn’t play. I was more insulted. This is glorified pickup ball and Iverson can’t go out there and dribble around, do a crossover once or twice, and hurl up a four-pointer or two?
The fact A.I. used a half-assed excuse without providing any detail is the real kicker. Did anyone really buy the excuse that a doctor told Iverson not to play??? I certainly didn't.
The fans may not get to see A.I. play, which is fine, but they at least deserve a legit reason after shelling out good money for a ticket for the primary reason of seeing Iverson play one more time.
There were plenty of fun “remember this guy” moments at the Big3. But fans didn’t pay good money to remember that Lou Amundson played for the Sixers and that Reggie Evans was a heck of a rebounder. They certainly won’t pay good money for the Big3 again unless something changes. Just don’t expect that to be A.I.