November 21, 2017 | 12:33 pm
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Big 3 mid-season report

The Big3 wrapped up their fourth week in Philadelphia this past weekend with Rashard Lewis capturing the coveted “player of the week” award. Shaw Sports attended a media conference this week with Big3 leadership, and we have the inside scoop on the breaking news of the league. Lewis is a former star in the NBA who played 16 seasons in the league and captured a championship in a stop with the Miami Heat. Lewis is leading the league in scoring with 24 points per game on 55% shooting while grabbing 7 rebounds per game.

The Big3 leadership explained that week 4 brought another great week of basketball in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center attendance 12,435 including some celebrities. The day opened with the Power (3-1) beating the Ghost Ballers (2-2). Philadelphia native Cuttino Mowgli showed that he still has game with 20 points, and 3 assists while DeShawn Stevenson hit his second game-winning shot of the season.

Trilogy (4-0) is still undefeated after week 4 with a win over the struggling Ball Hogs (1-3). Rashad McCants played a great game bringing in 20 points on 89% shooting. Xavier Silas was acquired by the Ball Hogs from Tri-State in the league’s first trade, and showed up with something to prove scoring 17 points.

In game 3, the 3 Headed Monsters (3-1) secured their third win over Killer 3s (1-3).Lewis, Big3’s player of the week, scored 30 points on 50% shooting with 10 rebounds and sunk the game winning shot to secure his team’s position at the second seed in the league.

Tri-State (1-3) secured their win over 3’s Company (1-3) in game 4 with 51. This game was particularly special, because both Dr. J and Allen Iverson coached against one another in the city that means so much to them. Dr. J ultimately won the battle as Iverson was unable to play due to illness, but league leaders recalled how special it was to see these two legends embrace each other on the court. Overall, Iverson’s absence left many  in Philadelphia disappointed, but the league stated that he was advised to not even leave his bed and he refused to let the fans down by not appearing at the arena.

http://www.foxsports.com/big3/video/1002094659594

Dr. J’s input into the league has been instrumental, and Ice Cube explained that it took some convincing to get him to join. Ice Cube made many phone calls to communicate how serious they were about being a credible organization, and hey were finally able to earn J’s participation.

Co-founder Jeff Kwantinetz explained that the physicality of the league has shown to establish Big3 as a credible league very quickly. Tough defense means that teams are not just letting people walk to the hole and score. Kwantinetz went on to say that when they set out to establish the league they said that if this became a league about nostalgia they would be a flash in the pan. However, if it became a league about credible and competitive sports, then it could be something that would stand the test of time and only get better.

Looking forward to a great week in Chicago, the league is starting to pique the interest of fans all over the world. Big3 hopes that the closer they get to the playoffs, everyone who loves basketball (especially hard-nosed basketball) will be engaged and invested into who wins the championship.

This coming Sunday, the 3 Headed Monsters will face a new test against player coach and captain Iverson, along with Andre Owens who is among league leaders in points, rebounds and assists. Trilogy stands undefeated at 4-0,  while the 3 Headed Monsters are 3-1 off the heels of Lewis’ player of the week plays. Each week will be pivotal in determining what team makes the playoffs so there will be no time for any team to relax as they enter week 5 of competition.

Currently, Lewis the leads league in points with 94, followed by Stephen Jackson at 81, and Cuttino Mowgli with 76. Reggie Evans leads in rebounds with 45 thus far while Jerome Williams comes in a close second at 39. Andre Owens and Mike Bibby are tied among leaders in assists, and Bibby, DeMar Johnson, and Chauncey Billups are the top 3 in four-point shots.

Fortunately, there are no injuries to report this week, but Iverson’s return to play is still undetermined. As of now he’s slated to be available to coach. Kenyon Martin is projected to return from his 1st week injury which will only boost the Trilogy’s 4-0 league standing.

Mo Evans was traded from Ghost Ballers to Killer 3’s resulting in Jo Smith being called up to the Ghost Ballers. Smith is formerly a number 1 NBA draft pick by Golden State in ’95 and played a season with the Bulls in 2007-2008. Desmond Farmer was also called up by the Ball Hogs for his first appearance with Big3 of the season after playing internationally for a decade.

The noteworthy story for week 5 is that Kendall Gill will be returning home to play in Chicago for Power after being activated in week 4. Gill was intent on being drafted, and worked hard to earn his spot on a Big3 roster. Unfortunately, he wasn’t chosen and was very unhappy about it. Gill stayed in shape, and when the opportunity  presented itself he was ready to be called up. He has publicly discussed how the Big3 is an A-class organization, and that he’s very excited to be a professional once again. That’s one thing that’s very special about this league–it’s giving retired players a chance to play the sport the love once again in a professional setting, and they’re loving every minute of it.

Overall, Ice Cube and Jeff Kwantinetz are very pleased and surprised at how quickly the league has caught on, and they’re very happy with the numbers they’ve been seeing on the televised broadcasts. Shaw Sports asked if the league plans to implement a live TV deal given the credibility the league has been able to establish in a short time, and the resounding answer was yes. However, the Big3 is cautious to move more quickly than they need to. Their main focus is to establish credibility and grow the league the right way.

Week 5 excitement takes place in Chicago this Sunday, so if you’re in the area you definitely don’t want to miss out on the action. For those of you who will need to watch the televised broadcast, you can catch it Monday night on Fox Sports.

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