The Big3 to bring Championship and All-Star game to London's O2 in August -

The Big3 to bring Championship and All-Star game to London’s O2 in August

Joe Johnson Big3 London

The Big3, the star-studded 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, will play its 2023 season’s Championship Game and All-Star game in London, marking the US-based league’s first games outside of North America.

Ice Cube and Kwatinetz will host the games at the O2 Arena on Saturday 26th August, from 6pm, to make a 1pm ET broadcast time in the US where it will be shown on CBS and Paramount+.

The playoffs will be held on August 19 in Washington, D.C. at Capital One Arena in the US, with the regular season starting 25th June.

“The BIG3 is all about bringing the best sports and entertainment experience to our fans,” said BIG3 CEO and Co-founder, Ice Cube.

“We have felt the love from our international fans these past five seasons and we are so excited to be taking the BIG3 global. The O2 Arena is one of the most iconic venues in the world, and with a capacity of over 20,000, it is the perfect place for the 2023 BIG3 Championship Game and our second-annual All-Star Game. To all of our fans in D.C. and Europe, get ready, because the best BIG3 postseason yet is right around the corner.”

Founded in 2017, the BIG3 consists of 12 teams of six – including NBA greats, college basketball stars, and international basketball favourites – that compete 3-on-3 on a half court. Some of the names to have played in it include former NBAers Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, Rashard Lewis, Corey Magette and Stephen Jackson.

With innovative rules, such as trash talking allowed and the ‘Bring the Fire’ rule allowing teams one challenge per half determined by an in-game one-on-one, the BIG3 is the professional version of the 3-on-3 played in neighbourhoods around the world.

Moving the final to London could also be a taster for what’s to come, with Ice Cube telling the Sun they’d like to have a London-based team.

The league has owned all of its 12 teams since it launched but now it is planning to pivot to a franchise model.

“This year we are starting to sell teams to owners,” Ice Cube said. “It’s not out of our vision that we will have a team in London, coming over to the US every summer competing as well as having home games there.

“That’s the dream of ours for a billionaire or someone with a few hundred million to buy a team and create their own roster. That opens it up for players all through the UK to try to join. You’ll probably have some guys from the Olympic team…”

The playoffs on August 19 will decide which two of the league’s top four teams will go to London to face off in the 2023 BIG3 Championship Game on August 26. The second annual BIG3 All-Star Game, featuring the best BIG3 players from all 12 teams, will precede the 2023 Championship Game.

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