Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie to the courts of Gus Macker, you must be intrigued with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and their decision to add 3-on-3 basketball to the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan.
Both men’s and women’s teams will be representing their respective countries in less than 4 years. With FIBA rules in effect, the half-court games to 21, or whoever is winning after one 10-minute period, will be scored by one- and two-point baskets. As with most 3-on-3 tournaments, 4 players will make up a team, allowing a substitute to relieve starters throughout the game. The Olympic ball will be just a shade smaller than the NBA ball.
But, there’s a twist that will play a major role in the competition. The shot clock will be only 12 seconds per possession. That’s a quick turnaround jumper from grabbing a rebound, resetting possession by taking the ball behind the three-point(2-point) line and getting a good shot against, quite possibly, the best players in the world.
Do you have what it takes to represent your country in the 2020 Games? And who do you think would represent the USA? Could it be a mix of current NBA talent? Maybe LeBron, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook could represent Team USA. Or could we see a Canadian team with Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray and Kelly Olynyk? Would the top talent dare skip out on the 5-on-5 tournament to play for the 3-on-3 Gold medal? Think about the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, joining forces with Ricky Rubio and up-and-comer Willy Hernangomez. Knowing that Team USA has been put together to dominate the medal stand in the 5-on-5, it’s a possibility the best players from other countries could opt out of those games and into the Olympic equivalent of a Macker.
Would you bet against a team from the BIG3 League?
Ice Cube made it from gangsta rapper to playing the lead in “Are We There Yet?”. Is another transformation in the works, maybe Olympic 3-on-3 ambassador? Putting together a team of Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin and two soon-to-be-retired NBAers isn’t far fetched, right? Maybe Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would want to join those two for a quick run at some hardware. Maybe not.
The biggest takeaway we can see is that the 3-on-3 game is growing.
46 years after Scott McNeal started the Gus Macker tournaments in his parents’ driveway in Lowell, when the 2020 Tokyo games take place, maybe Gus himself will be in attendance leading the way.