It’s Official: 3-On-3 Basketball Is An Olympic Event

  • Rick Chandler

Alternative Views - Baku 2015 - 1st European Games

Let’s face it: A lot of NBA teams already play 3-on-3. When LeBron, Kyrie and Love are on the floor, is anyone else really involved?

The IOC has officially knighted 3-on-3 basketball for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as the watering down of the Summer Games continues. Now all we need is a way to choose these squads, because at least 12 of our best player will be otherwise occupied with regular basketball, right?

CBS Sports:

“The intensity and skill level of the 3×3 Game is such that there are no traditional 3×3 powerhouses and new countries have emerged since the first YOG experience in 2010,” FIBA president Horacio Muratore said. “This was our main objective back in 2007. The decision provides FIBA with a renewed, strong incentive to continue in this direction and grow the game of basketball by developing new young skilled basketball talents in both genders across the globe from small islands to large countries in every continent.”

Three-on-three debuted at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010 and was deemed a success, so now they’re trying it on the big stage because the IOC is desperate for a younger audience. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t what the ancient Greeks had in mind, but then neither was slalom canoeing.

The competition will be halfcourt, which makes the possibilities endless. For the U.S., NBA players will line up because of the novelty factor — but a few Olympics down the road I can see our pros skipping this, and maybe college players taking over. Personally I’d like to see playground stars get in.

There will be a men’s and women’s division.

Who knows what European teams will show up? They may work us to death with numerous and intricate 3-on-3 strategies — it will all be fascinating to watch, at least at first. Will there be three-second violations? Will they monkey with the 3-point line? Will there be a shot clock? Will games be timed, or played to a certain amount of points, like in volleyball?

I’ll watch until I learn all of the rules, then probably switch back to swimming.