Big 3 Championship at Staples Center
By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com
Established in 2017 the BIG3 has become the premier half-court, 3-on-3 basketball league. This league features some of the most popular, greatest and most skilled basketball players of all time. Founded by legendary music producer, actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The BIG3 combines highly competitive, fast pace, physical basketball for an extraordinary fan experience.
In their 2nd Season of existence, Clyde Drexler became the league’s second commissioner by replacing the initial commissioner Roger Mason. Last season they also inked a 3-year partnership with Adidas to launch a full retail line of sneakers as well as created Young3, which became an initiative to serve the underprivileged youth. This season they announced they would expand to 12 teams, move to 2 nights of three games each week. They also lowered the age limit to 27 and played in 18 different cities.
The early game featured a contest of two returning playoff teams from the previous season, the 3 Headed Monsters and Power came into the game with a record of 5-5. Though Mario Chalmers hit two four-point shots to help the 3 Headed Monsters jumped out to an early lead. They finished the game with a balanced attacked as they ended the game with four players with double digits points. Though Power kept the game close, they could never take the lead over the 3 Headed Monsters who ended up claiming 3rd place in the Big 3. During halftime, three-season veteran Corey Maggette was recognized by the BIG3 for his work with the community and the league. He then abruptly announced his retirement from the Big 3 at halftime of the game.
With over 12,000 fans in attendance at Staples Center, in downtown Los Angeles, basketball fans eagerly anticipated seeing the Killer 3’s and Triplets to faced off for the 2019 BIG3 Championship. The 6-4 Killer 3’s was led by Stephen Jackson, Frank Session and coached well-known NBA Enforcer Charles Oakley. The expansion Triplets, finished with the leagues best record at 9-1, were led by the Coach of the Year Lisa Leslie and the league’s MVP Joe Johnson.
Heading into the championship round the Triplets lead by Joe Johnson continued their hot streak. Joe “Iso” Johnson flourished throughout this game by helping then to get out to a 10-point lead. The Killer 3’s narrowed the score to 41-39 before the Triplets went on to score nine straight points which included a game-winning three-pointer from Iso Joe. Johnson’s 28 points lead the Triplets 50 vs Killer 3’s 39 who were led by Stephen Jackson’s 19 points.
Not only did Ice Cube perform during halftime of the Championship game, the crowd was a mix of basketball fans and an eclectic mix of superstars such as Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, LeBron James, Rich Paul, Montrezl Harrell, Jared Dudley, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. along with many other stars which came to enjoy the Big 3 season finale.
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