For several years now, FIBA (the international organizing body of basketball) has been pushing a 3-on-3 version of the sport. They see it sort of like beach volleyball compared to the traditional indoor game — it’s the way a lot of us have played the game in pick-up games at the park: Half court, scoring by 1 or 2, games are to 21 (with a 10-minute limit), and if the other team misses a shot you have to clear it beyond the three-point line before you can shoot. FIBA has tried to grow this version of the sport, and there is even a 3-on-3 world cup that tips off in a couple of weeks in France.
Now 3-on-3 basketball likely will be coming to the Olympics, reports the Associated Press.
Every four years the International Olympic Committee looks to add sports to the games (or remove some), and for Tokyo in 2020 it looks like 3-on-3 basketball will make the cut. The final vote is next Friday.
It’s a pretty frenetic version of the game because of the 12-second shot clock and the fact that play never stops — after a made basket the team that gave up the bucket gets the ball and clears it out to the arc then can instantly start. There’s no make-it-and-take-it rule, and the ball does not have to be checked before play starts.
FIBA sees it as a version of the game for a modern age — faster paced and with short games for those who don’t want to pay attention for a full 40 minutes. The game is basically a sprint with no stop (and no coach). Don’t expect NBA players to jump into this, the 2017 USA men’s team features Quinton Chievous (played in college at Tennessee, spent last season in the D-League with Iowa averaging 8.7 points per game), Myke Henry (DePaul and the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League), Alfonzo McKinnie (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the Windy City Bulls of the D-League), and Jonathan Octeus (Purdue and the Windy City Bulls).
The more the merrier, it should be fun to watch. Although, what I’d rather see from FIBA is an expansion of the 5-on-5 basketball pool for the Olympics from 12 to more like 20 — a lot of good teams don’t get in because of the small artificial cutoff.
The Wizards look like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Tim Frazier.
But they also looked like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Trey Burke and then Brandon Jennings last year – and look how that turned out.
So, even after trading for Frazier, Washington is still trying to increase stability behind John Wall.
The Wizards added some depth to their backcourt on Thursday by signing veteran guard Donald Sloan to a one-year deal, CSN’s Chris Miller confirmed on Thursday night.
The 29-year-old Sloan has played for the Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Cavaliers, Pacers and Nets in a five-year NBA career. He spent last season in China.
Sloan isn’t much of a scorer, and he’s only a decent distributor. But he makes up for it with all-around adequacy, highlighted by his rebounding for his position.
The veteran will compete with second-year Sheldon Mac, whose salary is just $50,000 guaranteed, to be Washington’s third point guard.
Nigel Hayes became a cult hero at Wisconsin for bringing a “BROKE COLLEGE ATHLETE ANYTHING HELPS” sign to GameDay and soliciting Venmo donations, challenging the stenographer in a press conference and “accidentally” calling a stenographer beautiful in front of a hot mic.
After going undrafted, Hayes and his colorful personality are headed to New York, where Knicks fans are starving for fun.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Could Hayes stick into the regular season? The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one more spot for a player on an standard contract. Chasson Randle has an unguaranteed salary that becomes partially guaranteed around the time training camp opens. The Knicks could also sign other players, though they’re down to just minimum exceptions.
Hayes – a 6-foot-8 forward – has a chance, but he’s most likely ticketed to New York’s minor-league affiliate after being waived by the parent club.
The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.
It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.
The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):
Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4
The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line
Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1
Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.
This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.
The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.
To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.
You can pre-order the game now.