The Big3 announced Monday that its fourth season, scheduled for this summer, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the three-on-three basketball league plans to return in 2021.
“Due to a confluence of issues including safety, uncertainty of testing, changing government regulations, insurance and liability issues, sponsor and advertiser challenges of their own, and the changing nature of the virus itself, the decision was made to focus on a great return in 2021,” the league said in a press release.
By last season, the league had grown to 12 teams, playing games in two different cities each week with an eight-game schedule. The Big3 considered hosting its 2020 season in a single location, but ultimately determined it was “not feasible.”
While the four major sports leagues are all trying to resume or begin their seasons in the coming months — almost certainly without fans in stadiums — the Big3 opted to go in a different direction.
“We tried everything in our power to give our fans a nice 2020 season but with a long list of obstacles, we decided to shift our focus to having a great 2021 season with our fans in the stands,” Big3 co-founder Ice Cube said in a statement. “Our goal from day one has always been to provide a remarkable experience full of top-level competition and entertainment.”
A little more than a week after the NBA suspended its season in March, the BIG3 reportedly talked about hosting a three-on-three tournament in April featuring quarantined players who had tested negative for COVID-19. But those plans, like its 2020 season ended before any basketball tipped off.
“Cube and I can do a lot … [but] we are not infectious disease experts and we cannot control decisions of local and state governments,” Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz said in a statement.
Former Nets guard Joe Johnson was the league’s MVP in 2019, winning the championship on a team coached by Lisa Leslie and beating Charles Oakley’s Killer 3’s.