A new twist on basketball, Big3 league, comes to Miami

Former Heat stars among players on fast-paced half-court


MIAMI – A new spin on pro basketball, the Big3 league, made its South Florida debut at the American Airlines Arena Friday.

The leagues challenges former NBA players in teams of three. Played on a half-court, the game is designed for speed. The first team to reach 50 points wins.

"In terms of the total package, star power, former all-star players. It's amazing man. I think it's the second-best league to the NBA in the world," player Metta World Peace said.

Heat fans will remember one of the players, former Miami star Birdman.

"It's very exciting to be back here and playing in front of that home crowd, Heat Nation," player Chris Andersen said.

The league is the brainchild of entrepreneur and entertainer Ice Cube.

"Well, I give credit to Ice Cube for recognizing Miami as a basketball city. Miami has always been a city where they wanted basketball. Especially for the crowd that they had tonight to come out and see it. It's great," said Gary Payton, the coach of the Three Headed Monster.

The league is now its second year with almost sold-out crowds.

"To be able to come to cities like Miami this year and still have great crowds and almost sell out. I think it's great," player Stephen Jackson said.

On Friday, fans got to see eight teams, four games and a new way to score -- a four pointer.

Former Heat player Jamario Moon sunk one in during Friday's game. That shot cementing the entire series for the undefeated Three Headed Monster.

"He might have made two game winners. He done won two games for us," Payton said. "We are going to keep winning games and that's what we are going to do." 

Players say Big3 is a win-win for everyone who loves basketball.

"The guys are playing at a very high level of basketball. But it's physical. It's a lot of contact and I don't mind it. I like it." Andersen said.