Big3 charges into Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday for the final day of regular-season action, meaning one last playoff push for teams still in the race—and a major player debut to highlight the action.
Trilogy still sits on an undefeated mark entering play, with Killer 3s going as far as putting Charles Oakley on the court for the first time in an effort to ruin the feat and gain a semblance of revenge for a loss earlier in the season.
If that were not enough, the playoff picture is a convoluted mess, which is nothing short of a good thing for a debuting league trying to make its mark. Several teams still have a shot at the No. 3 seed, though few are playing each other, meaning teams with nothing to lose have shots at playing the spoilers.
Big3 couldn't have landed a better venue for the drama set to unfold. Before it does, let's take a look at everything to know.
Big3 Week 8 Viewing Information
When: Sunday, August 13
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Airs on FS1 Monday, August 14, at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Big3 Week 8 Schedule
Game 1: Tri State vs. Power
Game 2: Killer 3s vs. Trilogy
Game 3: 3's Company vs. Ball Hogs
Game 4: Ghost Ballers vs. 3 Headed Monsters
Game 1: Tri State (Jermaine O'Neal, Bonzi Wells, Dominic McGuire, Lee Nailon and Mike James) vs. Power (Kendall Gill, Jerome Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Rasual Butler and Cuttino Mobley)
Game 2: Killer 3s (Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Reggie Evans, Mo Evans, Charles Oakley and Brian Cook) vs. Trilogy (Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Rashad McCants, James White and Dion Glover)
Game 3: 3's Company (Allen Iverson, DerMarr Johnson, Andre Owens, Mike Sweetney, Ruben Patterson and Al Thornton) vs. Ball Hogs (Brian Scalabrine, Josh Childress, Derrick Byars, Moochie Norris and Xavier Silas)
Game 4: Ghost Ballers (Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis, Larry Hughes, Marcus Banks and Ivan Johnson) vs. 3 Headed Monsters (Rashard Lewis, Kwame Brown, Eddie Basden and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf)
There's nothing quite like having Staples Center and Los Angeles as the venue for the Big3 given Sunday's importance.
The hype leading up to the event, compared to other weeks, has been gigantic. League founder Ice Cube has made the rounds, dropping interesting comments during various interviews—and calling out LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand for an appearance:
It wouldn't be Los Angeles without a Kobe Bryant mention, either. Cube hit a radio interview ahead of Sunday and stated he'd love to recruit Bryant to the league in the coming years.
"I hope so—one day," Ice Cube said during an interview with KTLA (via TMZ Sports). "I hope his competitive juices get the itch in him and he wants to, you know, come in the league and score 50 and win the game. We hope he'll play one day. But if not you know we still got some great players. Still competitive guys that want to play."
On the court, the biggest detail other than the playoff race is Oakley's debut. For those who know the legend, the Big3's description of him while breaking the news isn't close to hyperbole: "Oakley is one of the toughest and most feared players in the history of the NBA with unmatched physicality and intensity."
And Oakley has his sights trained on taking down the league's only undefeated squad. Rashad McCants dropped 20 points in a five-point win last time out, ruining Power's bid for a playoff berth despite 19 points from MVP candidate DeShawn Stevenson. Oakley's defensive resume will need to show up big in the game of the week as he looks to counteract an elite frontcourt headlined by Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington.
Which isn't to say the other games won't entertain. Power has another chance to avoid drawing Trilogy in the first round of the playoffs if it can move past the two-win Tri State. That's easier said than done, though, with Tri State rounding into form on the back of 18 points from Bonzi Wells in a win in their most recent game.
Allen Iverson's 3's Company has plenty to fight for as well and can't ignore the one-win Ball Hogs. They should have an easier time than they did in Week 7, when 20 points from Andre Owens almost wasn't enough to slip past Killer 3s in three-point fashion.
In the final game, Ghost Ballers will look for a bit of redemption coming off an 11-turnover performance while seeking to stick in the playoff hunt at the same time. Their opponents are the six-win 3 Headed Monsters, though, who are once again getting double-digit performances from the strong duo of Rashard Lewis and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
When dreaming up the league and scheduling venues, Ice Cube probably couldn't have envisioned a better build to a showdown in Staples Center. As much as Sunday is about the playoff hunt and the first Big3 championship, it's also very much about the future thanks to arriving at one of basketball's epicenters.
Stats and information courtesy of Big3.com unless otherwise specified.