Allen Iverson and the Big3 next take the legendary basketball city of Philadelphia by storm Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center for Week 4 action.
It's the perfect time for the league to arrive at such a locale. Not only is Big3 increasing in popularity each week, but the action on the court continues to improve as guys like Chauncey Billups enter the fray and others get healthy.
Like the week before it, where a few games came down to the wire, Week 4 offers more in the way of must-win games for would-be contenders, which is what happens when a league only has an eight-week season before playoffs.
Below, let's take a look at the Week 4 action, where storylines abound thanks to the locale and how the postseason picture has started to take shape.
Big3 Week 4 Viewing Information
When: Sunday, July 16
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
TV: Airs on FS1 Monday, July 17, at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Big3 Week 3 Schedule
Game 1: Ghost Ballers vs. Power
Game 2: Trilogy vs. Ball Hogs
Game 3: Killer 3s vs. 3 Headed Monsters
Game 4: 3's Company vs. Tri State
Game 1: Ghost Ballers (Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis, Mo Evans, Marcus Banks, Ivan Johnson) vs. Power (Cuttino Mobley, Jerome Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Moochie Norris)
Game 2: Trilogy (Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Rashad McCants, James White, Dion Glover) vs. Ball Hogs (Brian Scalabrine, Josh Childress, Derrick Byars, Rasual Butler, Dominic McGuire)
Game 3: Killer 3s (Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Reggie Evans, Larry Hughes, Brian Cook) vs. 3 Headed Monsters (Rashard Lewis, Kwame Brown, Eddie Basden, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf)
Game 4: 3's Company (Allen Iverson, DerMarr Johnson, Andre Owens, Mike Sweetney, Ruben Patterson, Al Thornton) vs. Tri-State (Jermaine O'Neal, Bonzi Wells, Xavier Silas, Lee Nailon, Mike James)
As of right now, the Big3 is all about the future. The league continues to garner more hype and strong audiences by the week as folks catch on to the idea of the entertaining three-on-three format featuring more than a handful of guys who could probably still play in the NBA.
So while Week 3 was fun and Week 4 should be even better, keep in mind the occurrences on the court are how the touring league will continue to solidify its standing while trying to recruit big names such as Dirk Nowitzki. Big3's interest in Nowitzki was confirmed by Ice Cube, according to SportsDay's Adam Grosbard.
Last week was certainly a way to encourage legends to latch on in the coming years. Billups put on a show, getting his Killer 3's the first win of their season on the back of his 21 points. A showdown between the Ghost Ballers and Ball Hogs ended in 50-45 fashion in favor of the former thanks to a 23-point outburst from Ricky Davis.
Interestingly enough, Iverson didn't post a big performance for 3's Company, though one has to think he'll turn it around in front of a friendly crowd in Philadelphia.
Iverson is already hyping the big return, based on a tweet from the venue:
“I just think it’s something you can’t miss, if you’re a basketball fan, if you’re an Allen Iverson fan, if you’re a Dr. J fan,” Ice Cube said, according to Jake Lourim of Philly.com. “Sitting there and coming to a Sixers game and waving is different than seeing him in competition. And I just think it’s going to be a great event for Philadelphia.”
Other than the giant return, the on-court action is reason enough to catch the broadcast. Game 1 is an intriguing showdown between Ghost Ballers and Power, a pair of 2-1 squads. Ghost Ballers finally have Davis gunning at a great pace, making for perhaps the league's best backcourt in tandem with Mike Bibby.
Game 2 throws the league's last undefeated team, Trilogy, against the 1-2 Ball Hogs. Thanks to the frontcourt duo of Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington, the team seems almost unstoppable as it bullies its way through the season.
The third contest is arguably one of the biggest of the season. Billups' Killer 3s finally picked up a win last week and now run right into the 2-1 3 Headed Monsters, led by the potent combo of Rashard Lewis and Kwame Brown, not to mention Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who dropped 22 points and five assists last week.
For Billups and Stephen Jackson, though, confidence isn't lacking as they begin to find their stride.
“They’re a pretty good team,” Jackson said, according to Craig Ellenport of Big3.com. “One thing about us—as long as we play harder and play smarter, we’ll beat these guys. They’re a great shooting team. We just have to play our game and play great defense.”
Iverson is the star to watch in the Game 4 showdown between 3's Company and Tri State, which looks like something akin to a softball over the plate for The Answer considering he faces a team yet to win a game.
Call it a tug-of-war for the city: Julius Erving is the head coach of Tri State. But guys like Jermaine O'Neal haven't been able to stay out of foul trouble, so Iverson should put on a show in front of his home crowd.
Week 4, clearly, is a big milestone for the league. Folks like Nowitzki will be watching to see how legends like Iverson are received in life after the NBA, and fans should want to see the action too.
Stats and information courtesy of Big3.com unless otherwise specified.