The BIG3, a three-on-three basketball league filled with former NBA players, announced earlier this year that its 2020 season would be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there’s still going to be an opportunity to watch some former Association standouts in three-on-three action this summer.
The 5 Tournament is a six-team basketball event that is set to take place at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas over a 10-day period, beginning Sunday afternoon. Some of the former NBA standouts taking part in the inaugural event include Mario Chalmers, Mike Bibby, Nate Robinson and Jamario Moon.
The tournament has a round-robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals, scheduled for July 27, and the winners contesting the championship game July 29.
The 2019-20 NBA season is set to resume July 30, so this tournament will give fans some basketball action to whet their appetites for the big tipoff in Orlando, Florida.
Here’s everything you need to know heading into the first day of The 5 Tournament on Sunday.
July 19 Schedule, Odds
Texas (-5) vs. Miami, 2 p.m. ET
Sacramento (-6) vs. Toronto, 3:10 p.m. ET
New York vs. Chicago (-8.5), 4:20 p.m. ET
Miami 5: Mario Chalmers, Rob Hite, Craig Smith, Carlos Arroyo, Corsley Edwards
Sacramento 5: Mike Bibby, Jermaine Taylor, Amir Johnson, Dahntay Jones, Donte Greene
New York 5: DerMarr Johnson, Solomon Jones, Darnell Jackson, Qyntel Woods, Mardy Collins
Toronto 5: Julian Wright, Mike Taylor, Alan Anderson, Patrick O’Bryant, Jamario Moon
Chicago 5: Nate Robinson, Derrick Byars, Eddie Basden, Mike Hall, Chris Johnson
Texas 5: Mo Charlo, Alex Scales, David Hawkins, James White, Will McDonald
Courtesy of The5Tournament.com.
Nate Robinson’s last NBA game came in October 2015. However, the 5’9″ guard, who is now 36, hasn’t stayed away from basketball in the nearly five years since. He’s played two seasons in the BIG3 and is now set to lead the Chicago 5 in The 5 Tournament.
And it’s all because of his love of the sport.
“It’s something that I cherish and really enjoy doing,” Robinson recently told SNY’s Ian Begley. “Me and my buddies get a chance to compete against each other at a high level, talk a little trash. It’s always fun to be able to compete against other guys that love the game just like you.”
The Chicago 5 play in the final game of Sunday’s opening slate, and they are favored to win over the New York 5, a squad headlined by DerMarr Johnson and Solomon Jones. Later in the tournament, Robinson will also have to match up against other talented point guards, such as Mario Chalmers (Miami 5) and Mike Bibby (Sacramento 5).
But with two teenage sons to play basketball with, Robinson isn’t worried about that.
“If I can keep up with 15-year-olds, I know I’ll be able to withstand playing against guys like Mario Chalmers and James White,” Robinson told Begley.
Chalmers will be playing in the opening game of the tournament as he leads his Miami 5 squad against the Texas 5. Like Robinson, the 34-year-old Chalmers has played in the BIG3 since his last NBA game, which occurred in April 2018. And he’s also ready to play in this inaugural tournament, especially considering the lack of competitive basketball that’s taken place over the past few months.
“I’m very excited,” Chalmers said during a recent appearance on the HoopsHype podcast (h/t Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype). “This is probably the longest I’ve been away from basketball when I’m healthy. So, yes, I definitely have the itch to get back out there and play and compete.”
Because none of these six teams have taken the court, it’s not clear who will emerge as the best during this 10-day tournament. Sunday’s action should give us an indication of the teams that could contend for the championship.
BY JAKE RILL