Rashad McCants was selected as the #1 pick in Ice Cube’s inaugural Big 3 League, a 3-on-3 professional basketball league designed to allow former NBA stars another opportunity to showcase their talents in front of fans. McCants who has been known for his controversial past, says it is time to wipe the slate clean with hopes that the Big 3 League will shift the focus from his headline-worthy sound bites to his talent on the court.
LA: Do you feel any pressure with being drafted #1 in the Big 3 League?
RM: It does pose a little bit of pressure, being picked #1. As we get closer to the dates the pressure kind of alleviates and it just becomes about playing.
LA: What are you most looking forward to with this new venture?
RM: I’m most looking forward to the travel, being able to go city-to-city and see fans … play again. Not only just live, but at the national level television wise as well. We’re going to be on FS1, Fox Monday night basketball. To be able to go city-to city-and get that NBA feel once again, I think that it’s something that we have all missed.
LA: How would you describe your basketball career up to this point?
RM: Definitely a rollercoaster, one of those big six flags Goliath big up and down and hoop-to-hoop. Once that smooth sailing into the gates where you start all over, that’s where we’re getting back, going up that mountain again. Without the hoops and the rollercoaster [ride] you don’t progress.
LA: Do you have any regrets about how you have handled your career?
RM: My career was an absolute success coming from Asheville, NC. There weren’t a lot of expectations coming out. Until I got to UNC, that’s when everything kind of exploded. People were saying ‘Oh I didn’t know you could be this, so now you have to be this.’ Being able to take that step and win a championship and get drafted in the lottery for the NBA. I think that my career didn’t go as planned in terms of wanting to be the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but for the peers and the people who looked up to me, I think it set a platform saying you can do that too; the things that I did in the NBA, whether people respect them or not, I think that I laid my own ground work when it comes to young players in the NBA.
LA: What can fans expect from you being back on the court?
RM: They can expect a lot of flare, trash-talking, a lot of bravado. That old school play is what created my reputation, a stigma of being very passionate but misunderstood. I take from guys like Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin, guys who played extremely hard and didn’t care about what anyone [said]..
LA: What sets this league apart from others?
RM: These are all guys [who] have personalities. I don’t think the NBA has a lot of personality now, as they did when these guys played.
LA: What would you like to see in terms of the future for college athletics?
RM: As far as college sports, I would like to see guys stay longer, not necessarily for academic purposes, but more so for development purposes, athlete education and education reform in it of itself. If we can protect the boundaries of these guys going to college for the sole purpose of sports and have them ready for the NBA, so that they’re prepared for it. [It]will further help them stay in college and allow them to learn how to budget their money and finances and get media training, how to avoid certain sound bites, which I wish I would have had. I would like to see in college sports compensation, sports education and a long standing development for the athletes.
LA: Besides the Big 3 League, what is keeping you busy?
RM: The Heroes Foundation is a foundation I started that is predicated upon helping athletes, entertainers, writers, and producers, financially fund and aid their ventures. There’s a lot of independent talent that run into roadblocks of trying to figure out where to start, where to get the money to start. Our foundation brings this platform to life that we can help these people get on the right track, pay for some, get them scholarships to go to this camp. We have to be entrepreneurs, building our own businesses for ourselves, for our kids and our families so that’s what I want to do.
McCants will run with Team Trilogy alongside Al Harrington, Kenyon Martin, James White and Dion Glover; coached by Rick Mahorn. Other players who will suit up include Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Mike Bibby, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams.
There are a total of eight teams. The games will be half-court and will begin with a do-or-die half-court shootout. The 10-week season tips off on June 24 with four games being played each Saturday in a new city starting with Brooklyn, NY. The league will be broadcast on FS1 as Monday night basketball. The final two weeks of competition will be the postseason with the championship game on August 12.