Tripple Overtime: Teams we’d like to see in Ice Cube’s new 3-on-3 basketball league

Date Published: 
Jan. 6, 2016

You know the guy in all those “Friday” movies? And those “Next Friday” movies? And also those “The Next Friday after the Friday after the last Next Friday following the following Next Friday” movies?


Or any of the “Barbershop” movies (1-15)?

The one that’s not Tyler Perry, that started out as a rapper, and that I’m pretty sure yelled at America’s sweetheart, Jonah Hill, in not only “21” but “22 Jump Street”?

Well, that guy apparently also sometimes goes by the handle “Ice Cube” and is apparently starting a new professional basketball league.

IMDB résumé and Jonah Hill aside, the “Big3” league is supposed to be 3-on-3 and designed for former NBA players and coaches.

Mr. Cube has even already gone as far as selecting a commissioner and slating eight teams to go head-to-head sometime this summer.

So far, former NBA players including Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams have all committed to playing, but since no official teams have been announced yet, and since he’s probably also pretty busy working on whatever “Friday” or “Barbershop” we happen to be on by now, I thought I’d help ol’ Ice out with a few teams I’d like to see in the “Big3.”

Before getting into it, let’s assume that being a former NBA player is more of a guideline than a pre-requisite, and that, like the WNBA, the teams are going to have to take the NASCAR route and sacrifice some windshield visibility in the name of corporate sponsorship and actually turning a profit.

Team PETA

Players: Air Bud, Ed the monkey, Michael Vick

Team mascot: A person

Having done about as many “Air Bud” movies as Ice Cube has done “Barbershop” ones, and considering that he almost single-handed led a fictional high school basketball team to a fictional victory in the finals of a fictional state tournament, Air Bud the basketball/football/baseball/soccer-playing golden receiver is the obvious choice to lead “Team PETA” here.

Throw in Ed the baseball-playing chimpanzee from the movie “Ed,” since it’s pretty much the only other non-”Air Bud”-franchise-related movie about an animal playing sports, and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (who has been known to play some one-on-one with former Eagles running back Lesean McCoy, and also since he doesn’t have much else shaking right now), and you’ve got the makings of a solid team with a solid sponsor, assuming no animals were harmed in the production of their “Big3” uniforms.

A baseball-playing monkey, a dog and Michael Vick. What could possibly go wrong?

Team John Deere

Players: Larry Bird, John Stockton, Karl Malone

Team mascot: The state of Indiana

A guy from Indiana and two guys bent on making sure that everyone knows just how much they enjoy jazz, “Team John Deere” doesn’t get much whiter than that.

Led by one of the only white NBA stars likely to find himself on a list of “the greatest players of all time” rather than just “the greatest white players of all time” in former Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird, and TJD just may have a shot at whatever the “Big3” championship trophy ends up being.

Team Kay Jewelers

Players: Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson

Team mascot: NBA Championship Ring

What’s better than what I’m pretty sure is America’s favorite jewelry store to sponsor a team full of former NBA stars that never won a ring?

This one could also include former Utah Jazz enthusiasts Stockton and Malone, who never managed an NBA title either, despite all time spent in the locker room getting pumped up for games with some Kenny G, but with John Deere already signing them on, former Phoenix Suns forward and current bumbling TNT analyst Charles Barkley and former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson make pretty nice replacements.

Let’s just hope at least in Iverson’s case that “Team Kay” doesn’t talk about practice.

Team Space Jam

Players: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Bill Murray

Team mascot: Bill Murray

This team is my surefire pick for the first-ever “Big3” title.

On one side of the court, you’ve got Michael Jordan — six-time NBA champion, star of the movie “Space Jam” and unquestionably the greatest basketball player of all time.

On the other side of the court, you’ve got LeBron James — three-time NBA champion, future star of the movie “Space Jam 2” and unquestionably the greatest basketball player of all time.

Somewhere else, you’ve got Bill Murray…

If Jordan and Murray can take down a bunch of space monsters, then Jordan, James and Murray can most definitely take down PETA.

The only question here is: Who wears No. 23?

Well, there you have it. Whether Ice Cube decides to take my suggestions or no, I’m sure we’re all waiting to see what former NBA stars make the “Big3” cut by next summer. If the league is indeed set to launch next summer, that is. Maybe he meant the summer after next…