Could Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant Join The Big3 In 2020?

The 3-on-3 pro league made some major changes last season; improved schedule, new teams, new venues, upgraded sponsorships and a 12th hour TV deal with CBSSports. The league added more marquee names and former NBA All-Stars to feed the attendance spike. If those enhancements weren’t enough, the Big3 also became the first U.S. pro league to legalize Cannabidiol

Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 dream has grown into viable entertainment for sports fans. You never know what the former rapper turned movie/entertainment mogul has up his sleeve. There’s no way to predict what Cube will do because his vision comes from within and he’s rarely moved by the mainstream or negative chatter about any of his endeavors. Look no further than his ambitious bid to acquire 22 Disney Sports Channels and create a sports network for the culture. 

That’s why many basketball fans are on the edge of their seats waiting for Wednesday to come because Cube says he has a mega bomb shell announcement to make. 


Immediately I began to think about the new players Cube may have on deck for Big3 League Season 4.  

There are rumors that Dwyane Wade, just one year removed from the NBA, will join the BIG3. 

Now that would be some shit. Wade would kill dudes.

If we want to dream even bigger, in 2018, there were rumors that Kobe Bryant would be playing in the Big3 the following season. Lakers PR quickly dismissed the rumors, but not before it sent a rush of enthusiasm throughout social media. 

Ice Cube is not one to give up and he knows that his league is yet to attract a Mount Rushmore name  like Kobe “Bean” Bryant.  Wade would be a great start and he just finished balling so the NBA connection and the name recognition is still fresh. Plus, wife Gabrielle Union stays in the news and Wade has a growing legion of fans who admire his journey as the father of an LGBTQ son. 

Sure, The Big3 has legends coaching and helping to run teams like George “Iceman” Gervin, Dr. J and Commish Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, but Allen Iverson is the most legendary player to ever grace a Big3 court and he only managed to give the thirsty fans a few buckets and a few minutes before shutting it down for the season. 

Kobe has been coaching his daughter’s AAU team with the mamba mentality which often results in super blowout wins. But you can’t tell me there’s not a fire in him that still burns to lace them up and hear the roar of the crowd. 

Wade is still fresh. His muscle memory is still in gear so he could really do some damage in the Big3. If Wade announced today, he’d be my 2020 Big3 MVP pick off rip. That might even pave the way for Cube to air his games in China due to Wade’s popularity out there and his lifetime sneaker deal with the show company Li-Ning.  

In 2019, BIG3 and 90 Plus Group announced the official schedule for the first-ever BIG3 China Tour, an exhibition series that brought the world’s premier professional 3-on-3 basketball league to China in November 2019 for a seven city tour.

Maybe Wade and Kobe could hop on that tour in 2020.

Kobe has a similar global popularity and…well…he’s Kobe. He has an arsenal of offensive moves that would thrive in the Big3 if he’s healthy.  These guys are brands that would make ya grandmama stop, look and listen.

Last season, winning the Big3 MVP gave Iso Joe another shot at an NBA that said he didn’t even deserve a look. 

Kobe and Wade aren’t looking to re-enter the NBA, but nailing them down would elevate the Big3 brand to another level and finally begin to solidify it as the post-NBA destination for ballers who gave up The League but don’t want to relinquish the crown. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.