The BIG3 made its debut on Sunday afternoon at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and after the first two games offered some late drama and a game-winner from DeShawn Stevenson, but the third game of the day featured the main attraction for many as Allen Iverson’s team took the court.
Iverson is the player/coach for 3’s Company, but he isn’t going to be the star on the court and on Sunday we learned that he isn’t going to be on the court much at all. Iverson played limited minutes in the game and scored one bucket and dropped two dimes on 1-of-6 shooting. His lone bucket of the game came on a pull-up jumper from the right elbow, but he was otherwise a non-factor in his team’s 61-51 win.
After the game, Iverson explained that fans shouldn’t expect him to play very much in these games.
Iverson heard plenty from the crowd at Barclays who showed up to see the BIG3’s biggest star, but the “We Want A.I.” chants weren’t what Iverson was hoping for.
From the jump, Iverson has been the headliner for the BIG3 even after they continually added former NBA players to their roster. While fans were hoping to see Iverson crossing up opponents and breaking out streetball moves in the 3-on-3 format, it’s clear that he’s not looking to be a prominent player on his squad.
It’s completely understandable that the 42-year-old Hall of Famer would feel that way, but for someone that is one of the NBA’s most popular figures of the last two decades, the craving from fans to watch him play isn’t going to stop so long as he’s on the active roster and the league promotes him as a player. People aren’t showing up to BIG3 games just to watch the basketball just yet. That may come in time, but for now it’s about the stars and Iverson’s the biggest of them all. I will be interesting to watch how crowds react all season if he remains in an extremely limited role.