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Three-on-three at Olympics? If so, who you got?

Would this be your threesome?

Photo: Sneakernews.com
Would this be your threesome? Photo: Sneakernews.com

Would this be your threesome?
Photo: Sneakernews.com

Three-on-three Olympic basketball. Hmmmm. Very int-e-rest-ing.

Word from numerous news outlets today is that three-on-three hoops is one of a few “radical” new event ideas being bandied about by the governing body of the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Sure, it’s likely a long shot, but it no doubt gets you thinking.

For me, before even the tantalizingly interesting debate on the who, the first order of business is the “how.” In short, if 3 on 3 hoops is already going on at the international level, how does it work?

Well, here’s the scoop on all the rules of which I’ve pulled out some¬† tidbits below (many are familiar from those of us who’ve played some form of pickup ball):

  • 12-second shot clock
  • The first team which scores 21 points or more wins the game if it happens before the end of regular
    playing time. This rule applies to regular playing time only (not in a potential overtime)
  • If the defensive team rebounds the ball, it must return the ball behind the arc (by passing or dribbling).
  • The first person on the offensive team to possess the ball outside the three-point arc must pass the ball to a teammate before a shot can be taken.
  • Dunking is not permitted unless the court has approved breakaway rims.

OK, so let’s assume we’re going to have some breakaway rims if this thing goes. Now that you’ve gotten a handle on the format, what do you think? Would this be fun to watch? In person, it’s not even a question. How it translates to TV, I’d be interested to see. More importantly, who’s got next if you’re Team USA and 3×3 is a 2016 reality? What’s the right mix of ball-handling, shooting and big man? Or do you just go with the best one-on-one players on the planet? In which case, does the conversation begin and end with Kobe, Lebron and Durant?

I’m not sure I’m an advocate of this 3×3 you speak of, Mr. Olympics man. But I can tell you that my curiosity has been piqued. Ball in.

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