Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Landon Buford0
Ice Cube & The Big 3 Invade Staple Center In Week 8 Of Summer League Play
In front of an energetic crowd of more than 10,000 fans, including music, sports, and entertainment icons, BIG3 took the STAPLES Center by storm on Sunday, pulling out all of the stops to close out the professional 3-on-3 league’s regular season. Fans have become accustomed to seeing hard-nosed, competitive basketball. In LA, they also witnessed their favorite stars flocking to see the games in person.
Seated courtside alongside BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube were Oscar De La Hoya, Dwyane Wade, Chad Ochocinco Johnson, LL Cool J, Jeanie Buss, Jesse Williams, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Lamar Odom, T-Pain, Kenny Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jeffrey Osborne, Raphael Saadiq, Pooch Hall, Gilbert Arenas, Sam Cassell, LaVar Ball, LaMelo Ball and others.
With a host of playoff scenarios set to be sorted out and Trilogy’s perfect season on the line, fans witnessed another aggressive, action-packed day of basketball resulting in Trilogy, 3 Headed Monsters, Power, and Ghost Ballers moving on to the playoffs to compete for the first-ever BIG3 championship title.
Rashard Lewis ended the regular season as the scoring leader in total points (170) and points per game (21.3). Reggie Evans led the league in total rebounds (87) and rebounds per game (12.4). Mike Bibby topped the league in total assists (30), assists per game (3.8), and 4-point field goals (6).
In the most thrilling game of the day, Trilogy’s unblemished record was put on the line in a matchup against the Killer 3’s. Having already been eliminated from championship contention, Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson’s Killer 3’s unleashed Player Coach Charles Oakley for his season debut as a player in a final effort to tarnish Trilogy’s undefeated record. However, Trilogy’s Rashad McCants and Al Harrington proved to be unstoppable yet again, with McCants scoring 17 points and Harrington adding 16, leading their team to a 50-41 win to close out the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record.
Each of the three other games featured playoff ramifications, as Tri-State beat Power to keep their championship dreams alive. Even with a loss, Power still secured the 3-seed via 3’s Company loss and subsequent elimination at the hands of Ball Hogs which came into the week with the worst record in the league only to ruin 3’s Company’s post-season hopes.
In a major upset with their fate in their own hands, Ghost Ballers (previously 3-4) wrapped up the day of reckoning by securing the 4-seed after beating 3 Headed Monsters (previously 6-1).
In addition to four competitive games, fans were treated to a halftime performance by West Coast legend Snoop Dogg, rapping his classic songs, “Next Episode” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
While fans attended in order to see their favorite professional basketball players compete, anticipation was at an all-time high for the much talked about 4-point challenge between Ice Cube and Big Baller Brand’s LaVar Ball. Following a week of back and forth social media conversation, Ice Cube beat Ball after draining more 4-point shots
Next week, BIG3 moves to Seattle, WA for the playoffs at KeyArena on Sunday, August 20th. All eight teams will compete — the top four teams for the championship title, the bottom four teams for consolation ranking.
Power (4-4) 42 vs. Tri-State (3-5) 51
Coming into Week 8, the 2-5 Tri-State’s playoff berth hopes remained alive, if slim, as a win over Power plus a loss by 3’s Company and a loss by Ghost Ballers would have secured the 4-seed. Meanwhile, Power entered the game having already clinched a playoff berth, fighting for a 3-seed with a win over Tri-State or a loss by 3’s Company.
Tri-State opened the game strong, but quickly fell behind to Power, at one point trailing 18-10. Down most of the first half, Mike James led the team on a dominant run that resulted in a 25-20 lead at halftime, and a lead that Tri-State would never relinquish throughout the 2nd half. Trailing 49-42, Power’s Cuttino Mobley faced tight defense and threw up an air ball that was rebounded by Tri-State’s Bonzi Wells who swiftly put in the game winning lay up.
Led by James’ 17 points on 3 of 7 shooting from behind the 3 point arc, Dominic McGuire’s 10 points and 5 rebounds, and Wells’ 8 points and 8 boards, Tri-State kept their playoff hopes alive with a 51-42 win over Power (still needing a loss by 3’s Company and a loss by Ghost Ballers later in the day). DeShawn Stevenson contributed a solid performance for Power, knocking down what would prove to be the day’s league-leading 22 points on 50% (6 of 12) shooting from the 3-point line.
Power (4-4) moves on to the playoffs as the 3-seed.
Killer 3’s (2-6) 41 vs. Trilogy (8-0) 50
The second game of the day featured undefeated Trilogy facing off against Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson’s Killer 3’s in a bid to keep its perfect season intact. Trilogy didn’t disappoint, opening on a 7-0 run that eventually resulted in an 18-point lead at the half. As lopsided as the first half was, Killer 3’s made things interesting battling back with a 13-0 run to start the second half, pulling to within 3 points. With all that energy expended, Killer 3’s proved to be overmatched as Trilogy regained its footing and rolled back to a 14 point lead.
Maybe the frustration setting in, Killer 3’s committed a total of 14 fouls led by Charles Oakley who made his BIG3 player debut adding four fouls in 8 minutes of play, including a flagrant foul after leveling Al Harrington while trying to break free after an inbound play. Subsequently, leading 47-41, Trilogy’s Dion Glover drained a 3-point shot for the win.
Trilogy rolled to victory and secured an undefeated regular season record (8-0) in a true team effort. Rashad McCants led with 17 points and 5 rebounds, followed by Al Harrington’s 16 points and 6 rebounds and James White’s 10 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Killer 3’s Brian Cook led his team in scoring with 17 while Stephen Jackson contributed 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Trilogy moves on to the playoffs as the 1-seed.
Ball Hogs (2-6) 50 vs. 3’s Company (3-5) 47
Game 3 featured 3’s Company coached by Allen Iverson fighting for a chance at a playoff spot against a Ball Hogs team with only one win on the season. 3’s Company entered Week 8 in a must-win scenario while also needing to bank on a Ghost Ballers loss.
The game was competitive from start to finish with 7 lead changes. The first half ended as expected with 3’s Company up by 6, led in part by Al Thornton’s 4-point shot (the beginning of the day for any BIG3 player). However, during the 2nd half, Ball Hogs battled back, eventually adopting the lead 38-37. After a series of lead changes and the game tied at 44, 3’s Company’s Andre Owens drained a 3 point shot. Down 47-44, Ball Hogs’ Xavier Silas capped off his 20 points, 5 rebound performance by sinking a clutch 4-point shot (only the 2nd of the day among all players) to put his team up 48-47. Following a diving rebound and several passes, Byars drove down the lane and dished the ball turned to Josh Childress, who laid it up for the win, capping his 16 points, 5 rebound day. Andre Owens contributed 19 points and 8 boards for 3’s Company, while Al Thornton added 11 points on 4 for 7 shooting.
3’s Company didn’t need to wait around for the result of the day’s 4th game, as they were eliminated from championship contention with their loss.
3 Headed Monsters (6-2) 33 vs. Ghost Ballers (4-4) 50
3 Headed Monsters had already clinched the 2-seed, but Ghost Ballers entered the game needing to pull ahead in order to make the playoffs after Tri-State won earlier in the day. With the season on the line, Ghost Ballers maintained a small advantage throughout the entire first half, pushing to a 25-20 star.
During halftime, Ice Cube and LaVar Ball competed in the highly anticipated head to head 4-point challenge. Ice Cube prevailed after thrilling the crowd by draining the most 4-point shots.
The second half saw Ghost Ballers take charge and begin to pull away, touched off by Mike Bibby’s 4-point shot early in the half. Leading 48-33, Bibby received a pass from Ricky Davis and swished a jumper just inside the 3 point line for the win. With their fate in their own men, Ghost Ballers outscored 3 Headed Monsters 25-13 in the 2nd half of 9 of 11 (82%) shooting with a strong team effort (Ricky Davis 13 points, 4 assists; Mike Bibby 13 points, 4 assists; Ivan Johnson 12 points; Marcus Banks 10 points).
Ghost Ballers advances to the playoffs as the 4-seed.