Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler Named BIG3 Commissioner

Former Trail Blazers and Rockets star Clyde Drexler has been named the new commissioner of the BIG3 basketball league, according to a press release (via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). Drexler was involved with the league last season as the coach of BIG3 team Power.

“Clyde is a consummate professional, revered businessman and indisputably one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball,” BIG3 co-founders and co-CEOs Jeff Kwatinetz and Ice Cube said in a statement. “We were thrilled to have his early support as a coach for our inaugural season and couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to the executive team as BIG3 Commissioner.”

Ice Cube had been serving as the BIG3’s interim commissioner following the dismissal of Roger Mason Jr., who was recently fired by the league. Reports indicated that an alleged corruption scandal was the reason for Mason’s ouster, though the former veteran guard issued a statement this week refuting that idea, and calling the BIG3 work environment “hostile and racist.” Drexler will be tasked with moving the league beyond that scandal as it prepares for its second season this summer.

The BIG3, a three-on-three league that played its inaugural season in 2017, is made up almost exclusively of former NBA players, and has added several intriguing names to its initial player pool over the last few months. Metta World Peace, Amar’e Stoudemire, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson, Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis, Eddy Curry, and Greg Oden are among the former NBA vets expected to play in the BIG3 in 2018.

And-Ones: D-League, BIG3, Greg Oden

A pair of former NBA players have signed D-League contracts, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back, who reports (via Twitter) that Duje Dukan and Stephane Lasme are joining the league. Dukan played a single game last season for the Kings before returning to Croatia, while Lasme last saw NBA action way back in 2007/08 for the Warriors and Heat. Lasme has spent the last several years in Europe, though he received a suspension in 2016 for a failed doping test.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The new BIG3 league, which will debut this summer, has secured coaching commitments from Rick Barry, Clyde Drexler, and Rick Mahorn, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). Previous reports have indicated that George Gervin and Gary Payton will also serve as coaches in the eight-team, three-on-three league.
  • While former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden has referred to himself in the past as the biggest bust in NBA history, he walked those comments back a little in a conversation with Dana O’Neil of Outside The Lines. “If you’re out there and you can’t do it, that makes you a bust,” Oden said. “Well, I was never really out there. I was never Greg Oden in the NBA.” Check out O’Neil’s piece for more from Oden, who hasn’t ruled out the possibility of pursuing a coaching or personnel job in the future.
  • In a piece for The Step Back, Reichert identifies several D-League players who made unexpectedly strong impressions as last week’s NBA D-League Showcase. It remains to be seen whether the players singled out by Reichert will be able to land 10-day contracts with NBA teams this season, but they could at least be in line for larger roles on their respective D-League clubs.