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55

BIG3 Championship Odds: Tri-State Looks Like A Dynasty in the Making

Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar'e Stoudemire is just one of many former NBA All-Stars toiling away in the BIG3 this season. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
  • The BIG3 is back and Tri State leads the pack with +250 odds
  • Can Rashard Lewis repeat as BIG3 MVP?
  • Does Chauncey Billups have any more big shots left in him?

Basketball pundits were quick to roll their eyes when Ice Cube announced the formation of a professional three-on-three basketball league last January. “It will never work,” they insisted in unison. “No one will pay to see out-of-shape ballers play beneath the rim.”

Turns out they were wrong.

The BIG3 attracted nearly 100,000 rabid fans to stadiums across America during its inaugural season. Ticket holders came expecting a train wreck, but more often than not left impressed with the high level of play. NBA veterans like Stephen Jackson and Kwame Brown showed that they still had game, and the league’s less heralded players competed tooth and nail on every possession.

Ice Cube’s experiment has returned for a second season and online sportsbooks appear to be jumping on the bandwagon. Bovada has released odds for who will win the 2018 BIG3 championship and Tri-State leads the pack at +250.

Team Bovada Odds
Tri-State +250
3 Headed Monsters +350
3s Company +450
Power +550
Killer 3s +600
Trilogy +900
Ball Hogs +1000
Ghost Ballers +1200

Coached by NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving, Tri-State features six-time NBA All-Stars Jermaine O’Neal and Amar’e Stoudemire, three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Nate Robinson, ten-year NBA veteran Bonzi Wells, European stand-out Robert Hite, and former Temple star David Hawkins. They have the perfect balance of muscle and athleticism to crush opponents like an overripe grape.

This is Stoudemire’s first season in the BIG3, and he’s easily the league’s splashiest new acquisition. The former NBA Rookie of the Year played 14 seasons in the Association and finished with career averages of 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

At 35, Stoudemire’s best years are clearly behind him, but he still possesses enough bounce and mobility to give fellow big men fits.

He last played professionally in 2017  in the Israeli Basketball Premiere League, where he earned All-EuroCup Second Team honors. If you already knew that you’re either related to him or you desperately need to get outside. Either way, you might want to go for a stroll.

At 35, STAT’s best years are clearly behind him, but it hardly matters as the same can be said of every player in the league. He still possesses enough bounce and mobility to give fellow big men fits and has found a niche as an active low post scorer.

Tri-State are presently 3-0 and lead the league in point differential at +38.1 after commanding wins over Trilogy, Ball Hogs, and Power.

Team Record Point Diff.
Tri-State 3-0 +38.1
3 Headed Monsters 3-0 +19.8
3s Company 2-1 +17.1
Power 2-1 +21.9
Killer 3s 1-2 -17.1
Ball Hogs 1-2 -27.0
Trilogy 0-3 -35.1
Ghost Ballers 0-3 -18.0

Tri-State’s stiffest competition will likely come from the 3 Headed Monsters, who have raced out to a 3-0 record after reaching the BIG3 Championship Game in 2017. The squad features reigning BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis as well as former number 1 draft pick Kwame Brown, 13-year NBA vet Reggie Evans, sweet-shooting guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, and NBA journeymen Jamario Moon, Salim Stoudamire, and Qyntel Woods.

Lewis and Abdul-Rauf are both first rate marksmen, while Evans and Brown are the kind of big-bodied bangers that every three-on-three team needs to clear space and steal extra possessions. It probably helps as well that Evans has a well-earned reputations for grabbing the nuts of opposing players in the lane. That kind of move can guarantee you a lot of extra space.

One dark horse to keep an eye on are the Killer 3s, who arguably have more star power than any team in the league. The squad is led by 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups and features NBA champions Stephen Jackson, Metta World Peace and Josh Powell, and valuable role players Ryan Hollins,  Alan Anderson, and Mike James.

One dark horse to keep an eye on are the Killer 3s, who arguably have more star power than any team in the league.

They lack the youth and athleticism of some of the teams in the BIG3, but they have the kind of back alley mentality that will make you think twice about entering the paint. Bonus points to Jackson for wearing sunglasses in his team photo. The only way he could look more like a video game character is if he were rendered in 8-bit.

The Big3 began its second season on June 22nd and plays four regular season games per week until August 10th. The league’s Championship Game is scheduled for August 24th at 6:00 p.m. at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Author Image

Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.