The BIG3 made its highly anticipated debut this weekend, drawing over 15,000 fans for the opening game. The league — which was started by Ice Cube and features stars like Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, and others — was an instant hit, far surpassing expectations.
On a call with co-founders Jeff Kwatinetz and Ice Cube, the league announced that it outdid all ratings projections associated with the tape-delayed event and even made it into Fox Sports’ top 10 basketball telecasts, ever.
Along with the phenomenal ratings, the league updated the injury statuses of Jason Williams and Corey Maggette. Williams, also known as White Chocolate, will be out with an undisclosed knee injury for 6-8 months, while Maggette had surgery on a lower leg injury, and no timetable is available currently.
The league added that it would be adjusting the total score required to win a game from 60 points to 50, hopefully reducing the average game time. If everything goes according to plan, this would allow for all four games to fit into the Fox Sports three-hour broadcast.
The BIG3 is trying to separate itself from other major sports leagues by announcing these moves proactively.
“Our approach was smart because we can make adjustments,” Kwatinetz said on the call. “What’s great is we have the flexibility to be able to be proactive and not wait five years to make rules changes, to make the fan experience better right away.”
Next week, the games are in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is said to have had ticket sales spike due to the first weekend’s success.