Yet another season of BIG3 Basketball is upon us and this might be the most anticipated one since their inception in 2017. Even though the league is still trying to find its footing, it’s getting more and more popular heading into the fifth season with founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz leading the way. 2021 was a fun one, ending with Trilogy capturing gold yet again. The 2022 season is set to begin with three games on Saturday and three more on Sunday.
BIG3 Basketball: Top Week 1 Matchups
Triplets vs Trilogy (Saturday, June 18th)
Trilogy is set to defend their 2021 BIG3 Basketball Championship when they face a tough Triplets team this Saturday. James White will take over as captain this season after Jarrett Jack decided to step away to pursue other basketball opportunities. Jack was instrumental in their run last season but the team didn’t stop with him. White made great contributions both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He’s the only player left from Trilogy’s first title in 2017. They also have the likes of Amir Jackson and Isaiah Briscoe returning in key roles for 2022. This team can make another run at their third championship.
There’s a reason he’s the fan favorite ‼️ pic.twitter.com/GHudC3WQ0m
— Trilogy (@BIG3_Trilogy) May 5, 2022
In 2019, the Triplets took the league by storm as they won the BIG3 Championship in their inaugural season. That was also the year that Joe Johnson came over and dominated the league. He led the BIG3 in a lot of categories, including setting the record for points in a season with 175 (21.9 PPG). Iso Joe continued his dominant play the next season as he was the only player to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2021. Those two great seasons netted his back-to-back MVP awards. The Triplets will also be returning Jannero Pargo but will be adding a few new pieces in hopes to capture their second title.
3 Headed Monsters vs Ghost Ballers (Saturday, June 18th)
The Ghost Ballers will try to improve upon each of the last two seasons where they went 4-4 and missed the playoffs. In 2021, the duo of Mike Taylor and Chris Johnson was one of the best in BIG3 Basketball. It looked like they would carry that into the playoff until Taylor suffered a season-ending injury in week 6, effectively halting their chances. Coming into 2022, the Ghost Ballers will have a healthy team with captain Rickey Davis leading the way and head coach George Gervin heading into his fifth season. If all goes as planned, this team should be primed for a playoff position.
The 3 Headed Monsters come into this season trying to finally get over the hump. This team has gone to the championship game in 2017 and 2021 but has never won. They’ve also made the semi-finals in 2018 and 2019. The 3 Headed Monsters come into 2022 having a real chance to get back to the big game with a returning captain in Rashard Lewis, co-captain Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, and 2021 Rookie of the Year Kevin Murphy.
Killer 3’s vs Ball Hogs (Sunday, June 19th)
Despite finishing over .500 at 5-3 in 2021, the Killer 3’s just missed the playoffs after a slow 0-2 start to the season. Since adjusting to their roster turnover after two games, they got hot to end the season and showed great signs coming into this season. Franklin Sessions will serve his second year as captain after making a few highlight-reel plays throughout the 2021 season. Donte Green was a huge part of this team and showed us why by winning the Most Improved Player award last season. The Killer 3’s have the right pieces throughout the team to compete and get back to the championship game for the first time since 2018.
A 3-5 season was the Ball Hogs‘ best since 2017. That doesn’t sound ideal but they showed signs of improvement heading into this season. Ball Hogs are led by captain Leandro Barbosa, who averaged 20+ points per game and also led the league in assists. All this coming in just his first season in the BIG3. Getting Jodie Meeks last season proved beneficial to this team as well, making the second-most threes in the league. The Ball Hogs will be a team to watch coming into 2021 as they hope to compete for the playoffs.
Power vs Tri State (Sunday, June 19th)
Going into the 2021 season, Power lost three key players to this team’s success but they were able to finish with a respectable 4-4 record. Coming into this season, they’ll have more turnover but a returning Cuttino Mobley as captain will make them contenders. He dealt with some injuries last season but still averaged over 10 points a game. With Royce White fitting the system so well, Power still has the fire to compete. Nancy Lieberman‘s system has been arguably the best since the league started and she’ll try to recapture that championship glory from 2018.
It won’t be easy out of the gate as they face Tri State, who was tied for the best record in the league last season at 6-2. They had the best point differential in BIG3 Basketball with a +52. Tri State will lose an important piece in Nate Robinson but they’re in good hands with Jason Richardson taking over as the captain. He averaged 16 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season while gathering the third most steals in the league. Tri State also has a great defensive presence in Larry Sanders, who won the Defensive Player of the Year. With reigning Coach of the Year Julius Erving, this team has aspersions for their first championship.