The Big 3 is entering its third season with four new teams and a talented group of incoming players joining the league for the first time. Play will kick off on June 22 when the Big 3 begins an expanded 18-city tour that now includes a broadcasting contract with CBS.
Rosters are officially set after last week’s draft, which saw former Iowa State star and one-time NBA first-round draft pick Royce White go No. 1 overall. He was followed by former Bucks center Larry Sanders (who went third) and former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Greg Oden, who went seventh.
There are now more recognizable names and more star power in Ice Cube’s league for retired NBA players than ever before. Which team looks the best before the start of season three? Let’s grade every Big 3 roster to find out.
Head coach: Nancy Lieberman
Corey Maggette (Captain)
Cuttino Mobley (Co-captain)
Glen “Big Baby” Davis (Co-captain)
Power won the league’s championship in its second season after finishing tied atop the league in the regular season standings at 7-1. This team did not make a selection in the draft, but they did keep all six players from last year’s title winning roster.
Corey Maggette, now 39 years old, was a force in season two, finishing as the league’s second leading scorer. Cuttino Mobley also finished in the top 10 in scoring by averaging 12 points per game, while “Big Baby” Davis provides rebounding and efficient offense inside. Chris “Birdman” Andersen returns after being named Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Head coach: Michael Cooper
DerMarr Johnson (captain)
Baron Davis (co-captain)
Drew Gooden (co-captain)
3’s Company adds former UCLA wing Dijon Thompson to a team that made it to last year’s title game after finishing 5-3 in the regular season. Former Texas Tech star Andre Emmert led the team in scoring last year, but it’s Baron Davis who draws most of the attention. Davis tied for the league lead in made four-point shots with three, and has established himself as one of the league’s biggest draws.
DerMarr Johnson, the former NBA lottery pick who had his career cut short after a car accident, provides a solid all-around game at 6’9. Long-time NBA veterans Jason Maxiell and Drew Gooden add toughness and defense inside. Expect this to be the Baron Davis show once again.
3 Headed Monsters
Head coach: Gary Payton
Rashard Lewis (captain)
Reggie Evans (co-captain)
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (co-captain)
The 3 Headed Monsters tied for the best record in the regular season at 7-1 last year, but fell short in the playoffs. This team returns its core from last year while adding three talented players through the draft. Reggie Evans returns as the team’s driving force. The 38-year-old led 3 Headed Monsters in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks last season. Rashard Lewis is also back as one of the most dynamic and versatile players in the league at 6’11. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is still capable of scoring binges at 50 years old.
Larry Sanders is one of the biggest additions to the league. The former Bucks center is still only 30 years old and should add rebounding and shot blocking while also being one of the league’s most athletic players. Mario Chalmers was also selected as a steady point guard who can hit pull-up shots off the dribble and get his teammates involved. Hopefully his Big 3 teammates are nicer to him than LeBron and D-Wade were.
Head coach: Julius Erving
Jermaine O’Neal (captain)
Amar’e Stoudemire (co-captain)
Nate Robinson (co-captain)
Tri-State has more star power than any team in the Big 3, with Jermaine O’Neal and Amar’e Stoudemire combining for 12 All-Star appearances during their NBA careers. Despite that, it was David Hawkins — a player who never appeared in an NBA game — who turned into last year’s star. Hawkins finished third in the league in scoring and led the league in assists and rebounds. He has now moved to Trilogy, which leaves a big void of perimeter scoring in the Tri-State lineup.
Yakhouba Diawara, a 6’7 wing who played for the Nuggets and Heat, was added to the team as a first round draft pick. Long-time NBA guard Jason Richardson was also drafted by the team. Can he still dunk at 38 years old? With Nate Robinson returning alongside Stoudemire and the new draft picks, this is one of the most entertaining teams in the league.
Head coach: Charles Oakley
Stephen Jackson (captain)
Franklin Session (co-captain)
Al Harrington (co-captain)
Killer 3s were too beautiful for this world. Metta World Peace is no longer listed on the roster after starring alongside teammate Stephen Jackson under head coach Charles Oakley last season. Please take a moment to let that sentence sink in. While the athlete formerly known as Ron Artest is gone, Killer 3s have replaced him with a different type of legend: Franklin Session aka FrankNitty, who grew to notoriety playing in the Drew League, an LA-based Pro Am.
Killer 3s also added former Laker Josh Powell through the draft as a 6’9 big man. Former Bull and Pacer C.J. Watson was also selected in the draft. This team is all about Stephen Jackson, but he has a good supporting cast around him. We’ll see if Sessions’ Drew League success translates to 3x3.
Head coach: Kenyon Martin
Jason Terry (captain)
James White (co-captain)
David Hawkins (co-captain)
Trilogy could be set for a jump up the standings are going 3-5 last year. David Hawkins joins the team after finishing runner-up in the league’s MVP race last year. Jason Terry can still be a brilliant shot-maker, while James White adds defense, athleticism, and hopefully some highlight reel dunks at age 36. There might not have been a better dunker in the world than White in his prime.
Former NBA lottery pick Patrick O’Bryant comes over as the team’s first round draft pick to provide size on the inside. Trilogy will likely do most of its attacking on the perimeter led by Hawkins and Terry. This team is better than you might think at first glance.
Head coach: Rick Barry
Brian Scalabrine (captain)
Josh Childress (co-captain)
DeShawn Stevenson (co-captain)
Ball Hogs have struggled in the league’s first two seasons, going 2-6 and then 1-7 last year. Will things chance this season? DeShawn Stevenson is back after leading the team in scoring and rebounding last season. Brian Scalabrine and Josh Childress are also back. Will McDonald, a 6’11 big man who once starred at South Florida, was taken with the team’s first round draft pick.
Head coach: George Gervin
Mike Bibby (captain)
Ricky Davis (co-captain)
Carlos Boozer (co-captain)
Ghost Ballers also went 1-7 last year to finish tied for the league’s worst record. Ricky Davis and Carlos Boozer formed an effective inside-out scoring tandem, but the team struggled to defend in space. The addition of first round draft pick Jamario Moon may help that. Moon was one of the more athletic players in the NBA during his heyday. Remember this rebound?
Head coach: Lisa Leslie
Joe Johnson (captain)
Al Jefferson (co-captain)
Jannero Pargo (co-captain)
The first of the expansion teams, Triplets is loaded with NBA experience, with Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, and Jannero Pargo combining to play 42 NBA seasons between them. When you add in Alan Anderson’s eight seasons of NBA experience, Triplets are up to fifty. Johnson is arguably the dynamic addition to the league this year and could be its best player. He played for the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets in the 2017-18 season and should be a dominant scorer from day one.
With Jefferson’s inside scoring and rebounding and Pargo’s shot making, Triplets could be a force. Watch out for Chris Johnson, a 6’11 big man who was drafted No. 2 overall.
Head coach: Nate Archibald
Andre Owens (captain)
Shannon Brown (co-captain)
Aliens might be an expansion team, but they already have a proven Big 3 performer in Andre Owens, who was one of the better players in the league last year for 3s Company. Former Michigan State and Lakers guard Shannon Brown is also a new addition to the league, adding scoring and athleticism. Then there’s Greg Oden, the No. 7 pick in this year’s Big 3 draft. Of all the players in the Big 3 this season, Oden might be the most interesting.
This team originally featured Kendrick Perkins, but he’s no longer listed on the roster.
Head coach: Reggie Theus
Josh Smith (captain)
Will Bynum (co-captain)
Josh Smith is still getting paid more than $5 million by the Pistons through the 2019-2020 season as he enters the Big 3. The former NBA star should be one of the best two-way players in the league, with the added space of 3x3 making his drives to the basket more dangerous. Will Bynum is a stellar backcourt partner, providing ball handling, passing and some shooting. That’s a strong start.
Head coach: Rick Mahorn
Gilbert Arenas (captain)
Perry Jones (co-captain)
Lamar Odom (co-captain)
This is the team everyone is waiting for. Gilbert Arenas. Lamar Odom. Royce White. On paper, Enemies have enough talent to win the championship in their first year as an expansion team. Arenas is a natural showman and dynamic shot maker who should still have something left in the tank. Odom is a wildcard, but he could be one of the league’s best players if he’s in shape and engaged. White, the first pick in the draft, isn’t lacking confidence.
"I'm 6'8", 270. I'm a point guard. It's only two of me in the world. One of them lives in Hollywood, the other is standing with you."— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) May 2, 2019
All of the confidence from Royce White after being selected #1 in this year's @thebig3 Draft. #BIG3Draft pic.twitter.com/SDAHGi86R2
While he isn’t as famous as his teammates, don’t forget about Perry Jones III. The 6’11 forward is the youngest player in the league at 27 years old and has the shot-making and defensive versatility to be a stud. This team could go anyway.