The Big3 has big problems aside from Allen Iverson's trash excuse

The Big3 has big problems aside from Allen Iverson's trash excuse

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.

Doug Pederson found out Eagles hired him through media reports

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Doug Pederson found out Eagles hired him through media reports

Remember when you heard Doug Pederson was going to become the Eagles’ head coach? 

That was probably before Doug Pederson found out he was going to become the Eagles’ head coach. 

Thanks to an excerpt from Pederson’s book, “Fearless,” posted on, the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning head coach revealed that he didn’t find out he had the job until a few reporters broke the news. 

He didn’t find out officially until days after:

A few days later, I called Jeannie from the office and she said, “I just heard the news!” I’m like, “What news?” She said, “Ian Rappaport and Adam Schefter are saying you’re going to be the next head coach of the Eagles. That’s awesome!” 

Officially, nobody told me anything, but I was excited anyway. Andy, after hearing the reports, came by to congratulate me. I hadn’t heard from Howie or Jeffrey though. We lost to New England that Saturday night. It was disappointing to lose in the divisional round of the playoffs after the season we had. When I was leaving Gillette Stadium some Philadelphia reporters were waiting for me, but I declined all interviews. 

On the bus to the airport my phone rang. It was a 215 area code. I didn’t recognize the number but I picked up and it was Jeffrey Lurie on the other end. He said he was sorry for the loss, but it was a great season. Then we talked about my interview, and he told me how impressed he was. He said he wanted to officially extend the offer to me to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I was thinking, “Heck yeah! I’d love to accept the job.”

The whole excerpt is pretty interesting. Pederson admits to hearing rumors that he wasn’t the first choice for the job and even details the interview process he went through with Jeff Lurie and the Eagles’ front office. 

They even made him give a mock speech to the Eagles’ brass as if they were players in their first spring meeting with him as head coach. 

Fast-forward a couple years and Pederson is now extended through the 2022 season. He’s also a legend in Philly. 

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Doug Pederson struck one final blow to Mike Lombardi

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Doug Pederson struck one final blow to Mike Lombardi

No NFL writer has eaten more crow in the last year than Mike Lombardi, who famously quipped Doug Pederson “might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen.” It was a foolish thing to say at the time, and clearly, the statement did not age well, seeing as Pederson guided the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship immediately after.

Well, Lombardi is the gift that keeps on giving. It wasn’t enough he had to eat those words and essentially admit that was probably the most profoundly stupid sentence a football person could string together. It turns out Pederson got one last chance to own Lombardi before his immortal line could fade into the background, taking its place along such whimsically remembered Philly sports quotes as “We’re talking about practice,” and “We can all count, those points would’ve helped.”

NBC Sports’ Peter King got a chance to preview Pederson’s new book, “Fearless: How an Underdog becomes a Champion,” co-written by Dan Pompei. The book, which goes on sale Tuesday, Aug. 21, contains an interesting nugget about the coach’s behind-the-scenes dealings with Lombardi.

That got a ton of attention last year when Pederson was on the road to winning the Super Bowl. Pederson, in the book, says Lombardi wrote him a letter during the playoffs last season. “It was written on a typewriter, and was about three paragraphs long,” Pederson writes. “The letter said, ‘The first rule of any informed opinion is to never began with the end in mind. And I violated that rule. For that, I extend my sincere apology.’ I was appreciative, and at least it showed he was man enough to admit he was wrong.”

Then this: “After the Super Bowl, the possibility of writing this book came up. One of the interested companies thought Lombardi would be a great co-author and submitted an offer. I said, respectfully, ‘No thanks.’”

And now you know the rest of the story.

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise in 2018, but to think somebody got the idea that Lombardi should be the person to help tell Pederson’s story, and actually had the audacity to ask Pederson this is crazy. Lombardi said about the most disrespectful thing possible about another man’s career, his livelihood — and most importantly, was completely, 100 percent wrong — but, sure, let’s check with Pederson and see how he feels about this.

You might even say Lombardi was probably the least qualified person for the job.

Lombardi did go on to write a book, by the way. While it’s not an autobiography, nor does the title refer to the author, does anybody else find a smidgen of irony in the book’s title, “Gridiron Genius?”

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