Ex-Washington Wizards Show Up in the Clutch in the First Games of the Big 3 League

Washington Wizards fans should remember some familiar names in the basketball news this week. The first day of the inaugural 3-on-3 professional basketball league “The Big 3” kicked off on Sunday, and two former Wizards were among the day’s biggest winners.

The Big 3, founded by Ice Cube, is a newly formed 3-on-3 tournament that took place for the first time on Sunday at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Each day of play has 4 games, between some former NBA legends and players.

The Wizards are pretty well represented in the tournament. Ex-Wizards Al Thornton, Larry Hughes, Brian Cook, Mike James, Rashard Lewis, Kwame Brown, Al Harrington, Jannero Pargo, Mike Bibby, Rasual Butler, Dominic McGuire, and Deshawn Stevenson are all rostered, and expected to contribute during the 10 week season.

So which ex-Wizards showed up to ball on day 1?

In the first game of the day, Rashard Lewis, led the Three Headed Monsters to a win, 62-60, on an And-1 layup.

The first game showed the excitement possible in The Big 3. Lewis, known for being a knockdown three-point shooter was the overpaid small forward that Washington traded Gilbert Arenas for 21 games into John Wall‘s rookie season.

Lewis would play 60 games in Washington, with intermediate success, but his lasting mark for the Wizards is the fact GM Ernie Grunfeld turned him and the 46th pick into Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.

The first game also showed the painful reality of the league for NBA retirees.

Jason Williams was one of the most popular players in new league, and according to Coach Gary Payton, he’ll be sidelined around two weeks.

While that may end up being the main story of the day, it certainly won’t be for Wizards fans. Deshawn Stevenson, Mr. “I can’t feel my face”, got the crowd on its feet by hitting a game-winning three-pointer in the second game of the day.

Stevenson was mostly known as a defensive stopper in his time in Washington, but improved his three-point shot, and came to be the face of Washington’s resistance to the growing love of LeBron James.

Stevenson eventually left the Wizards., winning a championship in Dallas, but still holds fond memories of his time in D.C. For another day, in a much smaller feat, Stevenson was a champion again. As the day progressed, and the games continued, the day returned to more bad news though.

Now of course, when the news broke that the Big 3 would involve 40 and 50-year-old former players, the issue of injuries was of main concern. Yes it’s just a game of 3-on-3, but this is also a game featuring some of the most competitive athletes in the world. So, knowing they’re in front of a large audience, and for some, potentially auditioning for a spot on an NBA team in the future, injuries were expected. Hopefully, as the schedule goes on, the players’ conditioning improves, and the injuries subside.

With how many players have ties to Washington, it’s safe to expect more game winning shots from ex-Wizards as the season continues. You can view the schedule here, and catch the tournament as it travels around the country.

You can relive the full game action Monday night on Fox Sports 1. The games weren’t televised Sunday afternoon, and rightly so, as the full event is expected to last up to seven hours.