BIG3 League Participants, Schedule of Dates, Rules and More Announced

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2017

Former NBA player Allen Iverson listens during a press conference launching BIG3, a new 3-on-3 professional basketball league, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

BIG3 is coming in the summer, and based on the early participants, the three-on-three basketball league could be a big deal.

Allen Iverson highlights a list of team captains that will also include Chauncey Billups, Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O'Neal and others, per the league's official website. Clyde Drexler, Gary Payton and Rick Barry will be some of the coaches involved.

According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, the 10-week season will begin on June 24. Four games will be played each week in a new city, concluding with the championship game on Aug. 12.

While this will be big for entertainment value in a bit of a traveling show, there are serious rules that will make BIG3 a legitimate league.

Each team will feature five players (including two subs), three of whom will be drafted by the captains and co-captains in order to keep even lineups. Like most three-on-three games, the competitions will be played on half court with clears beyond the three-point line.

Of course, there are also some unique features that will keep fans on their toes.

According to Kennedy, there will be a four-point circle to give shooters an extra point from that spot on the floor. The game will also start with a do-or-die shootout from half court to gain possession. Halftime comes when one team scores 30 points and the game ends when someone reaches 60, winning by at least four points.

The league is the brainchild of rapper/actor Ice Cube, who was upset at players retiring too young because they couldn't handle the grind of the NBA season.

"Let's create a league where they can play again, and three-on-three basketball is actually the most competitive form of basketball played in the world," he said in January, per Maya A. Jones of The Undefeated.

BIG3 will host a combine in April to help facilitate the draft.