Those of us hankering for competitive basketball during the coronavirus hiatus may be in luck, as Ice Cube's BIG3 is planning a three-on-three tournament in April featuring quarantined players, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The tournament will have 16-22 players from the BIG3 who have tested negative for COVID-19 sequestered in a Los Angeles home provided by the league, with a basketball facility built on the premises.
The BIG3 has yet to confirm the details of Haynes' report, but the league Twitter account retweeted Haynes' story, as did Ice Cube with the caption, "If there's a will, there's a way." The league did confirm the quote from BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz found in Haynes' story:
"As long as we can protect the players, which we will do through proper testing and quarantine, Ice Cube and I feel we can give fans some safe, entertaining brand of basketball to get everyone through this pandemic," Kwatinetz said. "Cube and I have been in the entertainment business for 30 years. This is our job. People want to be entertained with all we're going through and enjoy our sports. We think this will help."
As part of the tournament, players would also be featured off the court with reality show-style insight into their daily lives, and the BIG3 is in conversations with multiple TV networks to broadcast the tournament, according to Haynes, who also provided details of the tournament:
There would be seven rounds of games, with teammates reshuffling after the first round. When a player accumulates three losses, he is eliminated. Cash prizes totaling millions of dollars will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place individual winners.
The fourth season of the BIG3 is still scheduled to begin on June 20 in Memphis, however there have been modifications to the schedule due to the coronavirus. Six weeks of the season have been moved to "an intimate, climate controlled Los Angeles venue," the league announced in March.
While it is unclear which BIG3 players would participate in the tournament, last season's rosters featured former NBA players such as Joe Johnson, Gilbert Arenas, Amar'e Stoudemire and Stephen Jackson.