Basketball fans who watch a fairly new league this summer could see a heavy Kings influence. They just won’t see it here.
Big3, the 3-on-3 league co-founded by rapper and entertainer Ice Cube, announced its 18-city schedule Friday. There are nine new cities in play this year, but Sacramento is not on the schedule despite having 12 players and coaches with ties to the Kings in the league, according to rosters released May 2.
Los Angeles is the only West Coast host city. Games will be played there Sept. 1, the final day of the schedule.
Had Golden 1 Center been selected as one of the venues for the third season of the league, Kings fans would have seen plenty of familiar faces.
The league’s defending champion, Power, is coached by Nancy Lieberman, who was a Kings assistant coach for two seasons. Her six-player squad features co-captain Cuttino Mobley, who played 43 games for Sacramento in the 2004-05 season.
Other former Kings playing in the league include Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Mike Bibby, Reggie Evans, Drew Gooden, Donte Greene, Jermaine Taylor, Bonzi Wells and Royce White.
White, who appeared in just three NBA games, all with the Kings in 2014, was the Big3’s No. 1 overall draft pick this year.
Metta World Peace, who was known as Ron Artest when he played 2½ seasons for the Kings, was slated to play with the Killer 3s, but he tweeted May 3 that he won’t participate because he plans to coach.
Along with Lieberman, two others with ties to the Kings franchise will coach in the 12-team league. Nate “Tiny” Archibald, a Hall of Famer who played six seasons with the team well before its Sacramento days, is coaching the Aliens; and Reggie Theus, who played in the first three seasons of the Sacramento era and coached the team for parts of two seasons, is leading Bivouac.
Some former Kings who have played in the league but aren’t scheduled to participate include Maurice Evans, Rashad McCants and Jason Williams.
The season tips off June 22, and games will be televised on CBS and CBS Sports Network. For more information, visit big3.com.