Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

20 SLIDES
The best and worst of the BIG3 inaugural season


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title: ‘Worst: Injuries kept some of those stars off the court’,
description: ‘

Corey Maggette, Jason Williams and Kenyon Martin all suffered injuries that either ended their seasons or kept them out for several weeks. Allen Iverson, the league’s biggest draw, suffered a minor injury and only played in three games and a total of 27 minutes all season. Luckily, there was a number of other guys who were able to step up and keep the league interesting.

Al Bello / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Trilogy finished the season undefeated’,
description: ‘

Rashad McCants, Al Harrington, Kenyon Martin, James White and Dion Glover ran the table and looked great doing it all season. They gelled early and were the only team with enough collective resolve to come back from games in which they were down multiple possessions. White was phenomenal defensively, and McCants carried them everywhere else.

 

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Worst: Watching the Ball Hogs wasn’t the greatest experience’,
description: ‘

25 percent of all games featured Brian Scalabrine’s Ball Hogs. The team was poorly constructed and wasn’t particularly great on either side of the ball. Throw in the fact that head coach Rick Barry got into a weird argument over LeBron James this summer, and you have the worst team in the BIG3.

 

Jeremy Brevard / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Best: Rashard Lewis got buckets’,
description: ‘

Sweet Lew led the league in scoring by holding off the Killer 3s’ Stephen Jackson in the final two weeks of the season, which led to him winning the first BIG3 MVP award over Rashad McCants.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images


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title: ‘Worst: Team names’,
description: ‘

Not all of the names were awful, but it felt like the BIG3 was trying a tad bit too hard to make team names that had the idea of “three” work. Killer 3s worked, but 3-Headed Monsters, Trilogy and Tri-State (would be different if tied to a geographic part of the country) all felt forced. Oh, and Ghost Ballers? Sounds like a hacky group of characters from “Ernest Scared Stupid.”

Al Bello / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Regular-season awards’,
description: ‘

After regular awards like MVP, Coach of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, the BIG3 also gave away awards for Too Hard to Guard (Al Harrington), Best Trash Talker (Stephen Jackson) and Best Dressed (Cuttino Mobley). The unique awards help build on an identity that the BIG3 is going to need in order to succeed as a league in the future.

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images


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title: ‘Worst: BIG3 might have an issue with time moving forward’,
description: ‘

The only reason the BIG3 was watchable on television is that it was highly edited. If future goals include live telecasts, the higher-ups are going to have to do one of two things: cut down the final score or split up the number of games in a single night. This is probably the single most important issue the BIG3 is going to have to solve.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: The league traveled ‘,
description: ‘

The BIG3 made 10 stops around the country, playing in cities as large as New York and Los Angeles to those as small as Lexington, Ky. The best stop on the tour might have been Seattle, a city that lost its NBA team but was able to see former Sonics Gary Payton and Rashard Lewis.

Jeremy Brevard / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Worst: Allen Iverson’s no-show in Dallas’,
description: ‘

Allen Iverson was easily the biggest draw for the first BIG3 season, and it was hard to imagine him committing a bigger crime than not suiting up in Philly. Instead, he skipped out on the trip to Dallas, raising questions about the seriousness of the league. He was suspended for a week and re-emerged in Los Angeles. It’s not surprising, but it was a pretty bad look.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Ice Cube was the perfect face of the league’,
description: ‘

You could tell from his first interviews about the BIG3 that Cube was passionate about this project, and it showed from Week 1 through Week 10. The BIG3 averaged 11,000 in-arena fans in its first season, and a lot of those fans were there for Cube as much as they were there for the basketball.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Best and Worst: Stephen Jackson and Charles Oakley’,
description: ‘

I have no doubts that if Stephen Jackson was a decade older, YouTube would be full of videos of him and Charles Oakley getting into fights over whether it was OK to push Michael Jordan. Instead, they got into a pair of heated player-coach arguments that can only happen with guys with their alpha personalities. At the end of the day, it was all love between the two.

Icon Sportswire / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Celebrities from all walks of life’,
description: ‘

Cube and Kwatinetz were able to harness their Rolodexes to get a huge number of celebrity faces sitting courtside during the games. Athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB and even NASCAR (who had Jeff Gordon going to a game?) all showed up to watch the games. There was also a plethora of singers, rappers and actors all showing support.

http://www.gettyimages.com/license/831836624

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Best and Worst: Ice Cube vs. LaVar Ball four-point challenge’,
description: ‘

LaVar Ball and Ice Cube faced off in a four-point challenge, with Cube beating Lonzo Ball’s father 2-1. LaVar Ball continues to fluctuate between the best and worst new face to the basketball world, and it was more of the same during the BIG3 in Los Angeles.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: The four-point shot’,
description: ‘

Antoine Walker had one of the greatest quotes in NBA history when asked why he shot so many three-pointers: “Because there are no fours.” Seeing how the NBA is played, Walker was probably ahead of his time. But for the BIG3, the four-point shot is a gimmick that works within the flow of the game and as a challenge for fans during media days.

Mat Hayward / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: One free throw for two points’,
description: ‘

All of the pressure of two free throws in one shot. This cut away unnecessary waiting time and emphasized the shot instead of the exercise of shooting it. With the stakes higher, I think a lot of players’ free throw shooting would be much better knowing that a single free throw is worth twice as much.

Ron Jenkins / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Fox Sports renews BIG3 for 2018 season’,
description: ‘

If there was going to be any metric to determine whether the BIG3 was a success in its first year, it’s that it will be back on television for a second season. A lot goes into just getting the league off the ground; gaining enough public interest to keep the league alive is all the BIG3 could ask for in year one.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports


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title: ‘Best: More stars in the future? ‘,
description: ‘

Lamar Odom has already expressed interest in playing, and Ice Cube says that he’s been recruiting for next year. Ricky Davis told the Washington Post that ex-teammates have been asking him about joining, too. The talent pool should be deeper next season, making the quality of play better on the court and a better draw to pique the interest of the fans.

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: No forced nicknames’,
description: ‘

A few players had nicknames on the back of their jerseys. The Answer for Allen Iverson, Mr. Big Shot for Chauncey Billups and Sweet Lew for Rashard Lewis all work fine. For those without nicknames, they used surnames to prevent some of the outlandish nicknames we saw with MLB’s Players Weekend.

Mike Stobe / Getty Images


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title: ‘Best: Championship trophy’,
description: ‘

The trophy looked great during Trilogy’s title ceremony. The championship shirts and hats were also great. Trilogy looked genuinely happy as the team celebrated its undefeated season holding up that BIG3 Championship Trophy. We should be happy that the players had a decent-looking trophy to hold up.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports


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