“Deeetroit Basketball!” is the signature call whenever the Detroit Pistons play, but last night, it was all about the BIG3. The groundbreaking league co-founded by Ice Cube shook Detroit with its season three opener, surrounded by 14K basketball fans at Little Caesar’s Arena. The epic evening was full of hard-fought contests, impressive individual performances, several ejections, and a surprise performance from Cube.
Expanding from eight to 12 teams this year, the BIG3 is a who’s who of NBA and WNBA royalty. Its rosters include game changers like Gary Payton, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Jason Terry, Cuttino Mobley, Lamar Odom and Nancy Lieberman. Lieberman’s coaching career began in Detroit when she headed the Detroit Shock. Fellow WNBA alumnae, Lisa Leslie joins Lieberman as the only female lead coaches of professional men’s teams.
Three half court games produced high energy as the 3 Headed Monsters, Bivouacs and Power teams beat their respective opponents.
The opening game of the 2019 BIG3 season saw 2017 runner-up 3 Headed Monsters exact revenge as they defeated inaugural champion Trilogy 51-46.
Co-captain, Cuttino Mobley was a force for Power, Saturday night with 28 points, six rebounds, four assists and five treys. Coach Lierberman lauded the reigning champion’s cohesiveness as she led the entire team, including an injured Corey Maggette, to the postgame press conference.
Two 2019 expansion squads closed out the night as Bivouac took on Enemies. Tensions flared early as Enemies’ Royce White, and Bivouac’s Josh Smith exchanged words following a foul call. The back-and-forth escalated into some pushing and shoving. After a brief discussion, the referees ejected both first-year players for the night. Several Bivouac players stepped up in Smith’s absence. Will Bynum, who called Detroit home for six seasons with the Pistons led the way with 22 points. The Bivouac earned the win by pulling their remaining players together.
The opening night excitement extended far beyond the court. The three games were broadcast across CBS and CBS Sports Network, the first of many shown as part of the league’s new broadcast partnership with the storied network. Additionally, highlights from the season’s first three games were all over Twitter, with “BIG3,” “Cuttino Mobley,” and “Reggie Evans” showing up as national trending topics all evening.
BIG3 continues the excitement in Indianapolis with three additional games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse beginning on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 1 p.m. EST.
*All videos courtesy BIG3 Press