clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

An Olympic 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament Would Be Great

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

One of the problems with playing a team sport in the Olympics is that you really only have one chance to win a medal. If you're LeBron James, you can't possibly win as many events as Michael Phelps, because Phelps just has so many more chances. It's not your fault; it's just reality.

At least, it's reality for now. Soon, there's a chance that James could be eligible to win a second gold medal ... in 3-on-3 basketball.

Via USA Today:

Could three-on-three basketball be coming to the Olympics?

It will if FIBA, the international governing body, has its way. Secretary-general Patrick Baumann said Saturday that his group planned to propose it to be played as early as the 2016 Rio Games.

What's not to like about this? There are more obscure events in other sports that are already part of the Olympics, so is it really that far-fetched to hold a 3-on-3 tournament? Why not give the top basketball players in the world another chance to win a medal?

And then there's this:

After rankings determine the top teams worldwide, Baumann said, each nation would be responsible for creating a format to determine which team it would send to the Olympics.

That's "team," not "teams," which means that only three of the top U.S. basketball players would earn a spot in the games. This opens up all sorts of avenues for politicking to come into play. How will the CAA guys (LeBron, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, etc.) decide which three guys will play together? Who will Kobe Bryant find to team with himself and Dwight Howard? Will he even want to team with Dwight Howard? Would all the Kentucky/John Calipari guys try to join forces?

So many questions, so many possibilities. In case it wasn't clear, I'm all for this.