Joe Johnson may be about to change the way the NBA looks at the BIG3 League.
Since its inception in 2017, the summertime three-on-three competition has been seen as a way for former NBA players to keep their names in the spotlight once they’re past their prime. The games are played in a half-court format and feature two-, three- and four-point shots along with other unique rules.
The league has never been considered a pathway back to the NBA, but Johnson may be about to break that barrier. It was reported earlier tonight that he will work out for the Sixers tomorrow in Philadelphia. The Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets and Pelicans are also interested in seeing if the 38-year-old has anything left in the tank.
Although it didn’t affect Johnson, one reason for the league’s new status is a rules change adopted this year that lowers the minimum age for players from 30 to 27. That allowed a fresh infusion of talent, including many players who are still in the prime of their careers.
One of the top proponents of the BIG3 is Celtics TV analyst Brian Scalabrine, who serves as team captain of the Ball Hogs. He told Frank Isola of The Athletic that Carmelo Anthony would be in a better position to land a training camp invitation if he had played in the league.
“Joe Johnson would not be in the conversation if he didn’t play in the BIG3,” Scalabrine said. “I want Carmelo Anthony to realize that hanging out with his trainer and playing in these bogus pick-up games is not better than playing in the BIG3. If Carmelo was killing the BIG3 it can help him, (but) I think these guys believe it can only hurt them. I think agents think it can only hurt them. But I’m telling you if you’re dominating the BIG3, you’ll get back in the league.”
We want to get your opinion. Will Johnson’s experience help the BIG3 turn into a summertime showcase for players who want to return to the NBA? Please leave your responses in the space below.