July 24, 2017

BIG3 Week 5 in Chicago - Trilogy Extends Dominance, Earns First Playoff Berth

Chicago native Chance the Rapper and Ice Cube courtside at The BIG3 Basketball Tournament. (see more [PHOTOS] and commentary at the end of the article.)

In front of a sold-out, star-studded Chicago crowd, Trilogy moved to 5-0 behind a dominant 27-point performance from Rashad McCants while 3 Headed Monsters and Power kept pace with decisive wins. In the day’s finale, Ghost Ballers came from down 13 points to earn a hard-fought comeback victory that keeps them in playoff positioning.

In the first week of the season’s second half, four teams moved closer to locking up a spot in the BIG3 Playoffs on Aug. 20 in Seattle. With its win, Trilogy earned the first playoff berth in BIG3 history and clinched a winning season. 3 Headed Monsters and Power, both at 4-1, have clinched at least a tie for a playoff berth.

The undefeated Trilogy held its record perfect with an impressive win that kept them at the top of the league’s standings. McCants was stellar with 27 points while James White chipped in 16, showcasing Trilogy’s impressive depth. [VIDEO: Highlights... courtesy of Fox Sports 1 FS1]

The BIG3 saved the best for last today when Ghost Ballers and Killers 3s played a thriller down to the wire to cap the quadruple header. After falling into a 25-12 halftime hole, Ghost Ballers Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis and Ivan Johnson pulled the team back into the game. With the score 44-39, Bibby drained the day’s only 4-point shot to cut the deficit to one. After a Killers 3s layup, the Ghost Ballers closed the game with six straight points to cap a 20-6 run.

Week 5 opened with a pair of former Chicago Bulls and local favorites squaring off as Kendall Gill’s Power defeated Brian Scalabrine’s Ball Hogs after DeShawn Stevenson hit his 3rd game winning shot of the season. In the third game of the day, 3 Headed Monsters overpowered 3’s Company, coached by Allen Iverson.

Official attendance was announced at 9,044 fans. Outside UIC Pavilion, thousands more clamored for tickets to the sold-out games. Fans were treated to a surprise performance from rap legend DMX who electrified the crowd with a rendition of ‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’ that had the building singing along.

Among the star-studded crowd were Grammy Award-winning artist and Chicago native Chance the Rapper, Taraji P. Henson and six other cast members of the hit Fox show Empire, rap icons EPMD, rapper Twista, Minister Louis Farrakhan, former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges, lawyer and CNN commentator Mark Geragos and more.

BIG3 Week 5 games will air on Fox Sports 1 Monday evening at 8 p.m. ET.

BIG3 Week 6 will bring its intensely competitive games to Dallas’ American Airlines Center on Sunday, July 30 at 2 p.m. CT.

Allen Iverson the STAR of the BIG3
The BIG3 survives after this year as a viable tournament if they are able to find a STAR that can play IN THE GAMES. That's the only way. Allen Iverson is now that star, however he clearly has nothing left in the tank. Nothing left to give to the game. Many fans were disappointed when A.I. didn't suit up in Philadelphia last week. After Iverson in popularity believe it on not, is Brian Scalabrine (pictured below), The White Mamba. But he is hardly the best player on the floor. That honor this week goes to Rashad McCants, who at one time dated Khloe Kardashian. But his star power is not there. Some think former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens should join the league. However that would only cheapen the product and turn the tournament into a traveling celebrity basketball game. There are more than enough celebrities on the sidelines. It was unfortunate that Jason Williams "White Chocolate" got hurt in the first week. He still displayed the flashiness that defined him as a NBA player in the one game he played. But the star player they need is not playing currently. After every game the players talk about how great it is to experience the camaraderie and competitiveness that as retired NBA players they sorely miss when they first stepped away from the game as a professional. Remember this is something they've been training to do since they were 6 or 7 years old. So for players that still have that itch, The BIG3 needs to attract Kobe Bryant (not likely), Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Also eventually players that are most likely to retire from the NBA over the next couple of years like Richard Jefferson, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobli and Vince Carter. But the key for any of these players is the desire to play in the league and having something left in the tank. Gary Payton said,"I could train for 2 or 3 months and get back out there. But I had a great career. I don't feel like getting hurt right now. ...tearing an Achilles or an ACL and being out for a year. [...laughter...] I like walking around everyday." It's a reminder that these players are special and elite and what Ice Cube is attempting to do with The BIG3 is a lot harder that it appears to be. If only Shaq, Barkley, and MJ could play.
-Jay Nation

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