Former North Carolina star Rashad McCants became the first No. 1 overall selection in BIG3 history, as the fledgling league hosted its inaugural draft Sunday.
McCants, 32, played four NBA seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. He last played during the 2008-09 season. His most recent professional basketball experience came in 2015 for Caneros del Este, a team based in the Dominican Republic.
McCants was followed by Andre Owens, Reggie Evans, Xavier Silas and Kwame Brown to round out the top five. Jerome Williams, Derrick Byars and Maurice Evans were the final picks of the first round.
The BIG3 held workouts in Las Vegas over the weekend and decided its draft order via lottery Friday. The league, which was co-founded by Ice Cube, will begin play June 25. Its 10-week schedule will travel to 10 cities, concluding in Las Vegas for the championship on Aug. 26.
“I think the game is gonna stay competitive [because] 52 percent of the revenue will go to the players,” Ice Cube told Maya A. Jones of The Undefeated. “If you win a championship, you get more of the money than everybody else. Second place and so on all the way to eighth place.
“Guys are playing for either a big chunk of the money or a little chunk of the money, but I think it’s a great incentive to give real play because what we didn’t want to do was put on an all-star game and not have a game. You know, we want all-stars there playing hard.”
Each team consists of five players, with each having a captain and co-captain that were named before the draft. Among the most notable names who are expected to play are Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin.
Iverson, who will be co-captaining 3’s Company with DerMarr Johnson, added Owens as the team’s first selection. 3’s Company then acquired former Georgetown big man Mike Sweetney and Ruben Patterson to round out the roster.
Billups, co-captaining Killer 3s with Stephen Jackson, selected Evans to give the team a big man in the first round. He then added former All-Defensive selection Larry Hughes in the second round and Brian Cook in the third. It was clear the team, coached by Charles Oakley, was prioritizing former NBA talent.
Martin and Al Harrington co-captain Trilogy, which selected McCants with the top overall pick. Trilogy then selected dunk specialist James “Flight” White and Dion Glover with their two remaining selections. With Martin and Harrington serving as the two bigs, Trilogy’s strategy was to stock up on available guards.
Here is a look at every team’s roster:
|Big 3 Rosters|
|3’s Company||Allen Iverson||Allen Iverson (captain), DerMarr Johnson (co-captain), Andre Owens, Michael Sweetney, Ruben Patterson|
|3 Headed Monsters||Gary Payton||Rashard Lewis (captain), Jason Williams (co-captain), Kwame Brown, Eddie Basden, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf|
|Ghost Ballers||George Gervin||Mike Bibby (captain), Ricky Davis (co-captain), Maurice Evans, Marcus Banks, Ivan Johnson|
|Killer 3s||Charles Oakley||Chauncey Billups (captain), Stephen Jackson (co-captain), Reggie Evans, Larry Hughes, Brian Cook|
|Power||Clyde Drexler||Corey Maggette (captain), Cuttino Mobley (co-captain), Jerome Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Moochie Norris|
|Trilogy||Rick Mahorn||Kenyon Martin (captain), Al Harrington (co-captain), Rashad McCants, James White, Dion Glover|
|Tri-State||Julius Erving||Jermaine O’Neal (captain), Bonzi Wells (co-captain), Xavier Silas, Lee Nailon, Mike James|
|Ball Hogs||Rick Barry||Brian Scalabrine (captain), Josh Childress (co-captain), Derrick Byars, Rasual Butler, Ivan Johnson|
A large portion of the BIG3’s headlines early on came thanks to the Hall of Famers who will be coaching and playing. Coaches Julius Irving, Rick Barry and Charles Oakley were at the draft. Most of the BIG3 coaches have little (if any) prior coaching experience, so it will be interesting to watch who rises to the top.
There is a ton to look forward to in regards to the BIG3. With Hall of Famers involved, a television deal with Fox Sports 1 and buzz building, it has the potential to be a success.
|Big3 Draft Results|
|2||3’s Company||Andre Owens|
|3||Killer 3s||Reggie Evans|
|5||3 Headed Monsters||Kwame Brown|
|7||Ball Hogs||Derrick Byars|
|8||Ghost Ballers||Maurice Evans|
|9||Ghost Ballers||Marcus Banks|
|10||Ball Hogs||Rasual Butler|
|12||3 Headed Monsters||Eddie Basden|
|14||Killer 3s||Larry Hughes|
|15||3’s Company||Mike Sweetney|
|17||3 Headed Monsters||Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf|
|18||Ball Hogs||Dominic McGuire|
|21||3’s Company||Ruben Patterson|
|22||Ghost Ballers||Ivan Johnson|
|24||Killer 3s||Brian Cook|