On June 25, Ice Cube’s much anticipated 3-on-3 league, BIG3, will tip off at Barclays Center. In April, there will be a real draft for the league, when we’ll learn how the eight teams will be filled out, but beforehand it’s time for a little fantasy draft. Tuesday, the league tweeted out a picture of LeBron James, Ice Cube and James Corden, asking “who’s your #BIG3 3-on-3 Dream Team?”
And since LeBron James is “The King,” anytime he asks you something, you’re legally required to give him an answer. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. Anyway, here we go. My BIG3 Dream Team.
Only players who have been confirmed by the league to be participating were included in this thought experiment.
So first, we have to take into account the rules of the league. Some important things to consider:
- Standard 2s and 3s, BUT THERE ARE ALSO 4-POINT SPOTS!
- No make it, take it -- After a made shot, referee must touch the ball. After giving the defense 3 seconds to set, losers (opposing team) must take ball beyond the top out of bounds line. Player has 5 seconds to return ball inbound
- No clock -- halftime when one team reaches 30 points, first team to 60 wins (must win by 4)
- Defensive rebounds have to be cleared (taken back behind the 3-point line), but steals and airballs do not
- No foul outs, but it’s two shots and the ball starting with the fifth team foul of each half
- First technical results in two shots in the ball, every tech afterwards is four shots and ball
Here’s how the court will look, including the location of the 4-point spots.
Alright, now knowing the players and the rules, let’s get to picking a dream team.
If Allen Iverson is available to be picked for anything, you pick him.
Even if there weren’t 4-point spots on the floor, you always want to have a shooter on your squad, but when there actually are 4-point spots on the floor, you absolutely must have a shooter on your squad. And Rashard Lewis is a very good shooter, shooting nearly 39 percent for his career. When you’re playing to a point total, instead of against a clock, hitting 3s (or 4s), is much more valuable than hitting 2s. You would have to make 30 2-point shots to get to 60, but you only need 20 3-pointers, or 15 4-pointers to reach the winning number. Plus, at 6-foot-10, Lewis will be one of the tallest players in a league mostly filled with guards and wings, giving him the ability to simply shoot over people.
On any team, even a 3-on-3 squad, you want toughness, leadership, and great defense, and Jackson brings all three of those traits to the table. I mean, Tim Duncan called Jackson the “ultimate teammate,” and there doesn’t get much higher praise than that. He’s a pretty versatile offensive player, and can be a disruptive force on the defensive end with his length and tenacity. Plus, he’s just not going to let his team lose. When the other team needs one more basket to get to 60 for the win, there’s no one else in the league I’d want out there more than Jackson to get that stop.
So there it is, my BIG3 Dream Team. We’ve got an unstoppable scorer in Iverson, an elite outside shooter in Lewis, and a lock-down, versatile defender in Jackson, and we’re coming for the title.