The BIG3, the professional three-on-three basketball league co-founded by Ice Cube, is canceling its 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.
The league, which intends to start preparing for its 2021 season, cited “safety, uncertainty of testing, changing government regulations, insurance and liability issues,” along with a handful of other concerns, as reasons why the ’20 campaign had to be canceled.
“Ultimately, we need the fan experience and the games themselves to be great,” the BIG3’s statement reads. “While other leagues have more immediate financial considerations, as a rising league, we need to put the fan experience above all and ensure each season is better than the one before.
“While we investigated many alternative scenarios, such as playing at a single location like a Los Angeles studio sound stage, the extension of the California stay at home order, California’s constant confusion and changing of the rules when combined with the multiple other issues listed above led to us to determining these scenarios were not feasible.”
Former NBA players such as Joe Johnson, Rashard Lewis, Amar’e Stoudemire and Josh Smith were among the standout BIG3 performers during the first three seasons of the 12-team league, which typically begins in June. Zach Randolph and Marreese Speights were among the notable veterans expected to join the BIG3 for its 2020 season.
The BIG3 planned to precede its 2020 season with a reality show-style, three-on-three tournament, which will now be delayed until ’21 as well. The program, titled "BIG3: Not in My House," will premiere sometime before the 2021 regular season begins, according to today’s announcement.
“The BIG3, along with (production partner) Endemol, was ready to proceed with this show immediately, but were faced with issues because U.S. networks mostly cannot start reality show and studio productions until at least September,” the league said in its statement. “We will have to wait until network studio production and scheduling stabilizes.”
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