Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson has committed to join the new BIG3 basketball league debuting this summer, and will serve as both a coach and a player, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski first reported last month that entertainer Ice Cube and former NBA player Roger Mason were working together to launch the league, having secured commitments from several retired NBA veterans.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube said at the time. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.
“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”
Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson and Jason Williams were among the former NBA players initially reported to have committed to the BIG3, a half-court, three-on-three professional basketball league. In his latest report, Wojnarowski adds Chauncey Billups to that list of players.
According to Wojnarowski, Iverson will be one of eight dual head coaches/players in the league, which will feature eight teams. In his December report, Wojnarowski indicated that Gary Payton had agreed to be one of the coaches, though it’s not clear if The Glove would be a player as well.
The BIG3 conducted its first official press conference today, fielding questions about the league and introducing Iverson, Lewis, Martin, and Mason (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com). A tweet from the BIG3 indicated that the league is expected to launch on June 24, shortly after the NBA Finals end.