Indiana Pacers: 3 former players we’d love to see in BIG3

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Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers, BIG3 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/BIG3 via Getty Images)

Though recently retired Indiana Pacers have mostly retreated from the limelight, alternative basketball entertainment could help bring them back.

Ice Cube’s basketball brainchild, the BIG3, is a really fun watch. Airing in the summer and touring across the country, making stops in multiple cities, it’s a fun change of pace for basketball fans.

These days, the BIG3 may actually soon fill a more direct need for basketball fans. With the NBA season suspended, the BIG3 is reportedly calling on the producers of the popular show Big Brother to create and air a quarantine reality show basketball tournament that should air sometime in May.

Notable ballers (male and female, reportedly) will be included, and their daily lives will be recorded to add some flavor to the show and give it that reality TV feel.

With no pro basketball on when the playoffs should be ratcheting up, it’s going to be a must-watch.

Whether it be in this quarantine-specific tournament or on a traditional BIG3 team, there are former Pacers that we’d love to see involved in the league one way or another.

The BIG3 gives a nice buffer zone to post-playing careers. It allows players to ease out of the pro basketball community by continuing to compete, albeit at a lesser level with other players who are still spry but past the point of being able to grind it out at the NBA level.

It also allows fans to continue seeing some of their favorite players and personalities even once they can’t compete at that level.

With only three players on a team, each player impacts wins and losses on a dramatic level.

What Pacers would be good BIG3 candidates?

Former Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis could bring ball handling to any BIG3 team

Monta Ellis could help any BIG3 team light up the scoreboard with incredible ball handling and facilitation. Though he spent just two years with the Indiana Pacers to wrap up his career, he averaged 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists while with the team.

During his career, he averaged 17.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game.

One of the things that Ellis may struggle with in a guard slot in the BIG3 is the importance of the outside shot. 3-point shots, of course, help run up the scoreboard, but the BIG3 also has the 4-point zone (unique rulebook item to the BIG3) that guards are traditionally expected to utilize the most.

Ellis made just 31.4 percent of his 3-point shots throughout his career, and given that the 4-point zone is a bit deeper than the arc, it’s likely out of his range.

With only three players on the floor, you can’t quite as easily mask deficiencies with the teammates around you. Each player has a considerable impact on each possession.

And given that most BIG3 teams often have a post-focused player on the floor at all times, Ellis would likely be forced to take at least a few of those 4-point shots.

Who knows, maybe since he’s played in the NBA he has really worked at that NBA shot. After all, following his career ending Ellis did try out for some NBA teams, and it’s likely that he tried to clean that shot up in order to prove his worth to the modern aspirations of NBA teams.

Still, BIG3 teams rely a lot on street-ball skills like handles and isolation moves.

While this is a little bit ridiculous, it shows the dexterity and coordination Ellis has, and his ability to maintain his dribble no matter what.

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