Last summer when I wrote about the inaugural season of the Big3, the consensus of players and the league management was that if they proved this thing was real, the second season would see bigger names come on board. Build it and they will come.
“In a lot of ways, it was definitely a ‘show me’ year,” Ice Cube told NBC Sports last summer. “Some people actually told us they would wait to see how we did this year before they would want to be a part of it. We knew trying to introduce something this new would have people kind of taking a wait-and-see approach.”
Now big names are jumping in, and the latest is former Sun and Knick Amar’e Stoudemire, who will be the three-way co-captain of Tri-State alongside Jermaine O’Neal and Nate Robinson, the league announced Wednesday.
Robinson is one of the other big names to jump in, along with Baron Davis, Ron Artest, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, Carlos Boozer and Drew Gooden. Even Greg Oden is going to make a run at it.
The Big3 is a barnstorming tour hitting one city a week with former NBA players going 3-on-3 in half-court. The refs let the game get more physical than the NBA, there are some gimmicks (the four-point shot spot) but the product was good. With an off-season to refine it and the broadcast, it should come back as an entertaining package. It’s a good fix for hoops junkies in the off-season, and Stoudemire and the star power just add to that.