Jason Williams out 6-8 months after injury in Big3 debut
NEW YORK (AP) Former NBA point guard Jason Williams will miss six to eight months after suffering a knee injury in the opening game of the Big3.
Corey Maggette also won’t be on the court after lower leg surgery, but Ice Cube expects to see more of Allen Iverson on it as his 3-on-3 league of former NBA players heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, for its second week.
The injuries were announced Wednesday during a conference call with Cube and Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, who argued that the injuries had nothing to do with the league’s use of older players.
”We had four games and in those four games less people were injured than will most likely be injured in any single first game in the NFL this year,” he said. ”People are injured in the NBA all the time, unfortunately. Cars crash in NASCAR and these things do happen. We do believe that there was intensity that maybe everybody didn’t expect and there will be an adjustment period as the season goes on.”
Iverson, the former NBA MVP who is the league’s biggest attraction as a player-coach, put himself in for only 9 minutes in his team’s victory. He said after the game that at age 42 he didn’t expect to be playing much.
But Cube said Iverson sat mostly because his team was matched up against a taller one, which wouldn’t be the case Sunday.
”He’s going to get stronger, play more and go after it, because he didn’t really get in this thing to sit down,” Cube said.
”He actually coached them to a win. So I commend him because most people wouldn’t do that when everybody is screaming your name saying you do it, and you just know the right thing to do for the team is to win the game. So I don’t want that to be overlooked in what Allen Iverson did on Sunday in Brooklyn, and I think it’s a way better matchup for him in Charlotte.”
Kwatinetz also said Jermaine O’Neal would miss the game because of a family commitment, while Kenyon Martin is considered day to day but expected to play after tweaking his hamstring.
Kwatinetz detailed a couple rule changes starting with this weekend’s game.
Games will be played to 50 points, instead of 60, with halftime coming when the first team reaches 25 points. Cube said that would help the four games per day move more quickly and fit in their window when they are shown Monday nights on Fox Sports 1.
The eight-team league is playing on 10 weekends, culminating with the Aug. 26 championship in Las Vegas.