FIBA: 3-on-3 basketball an Olympic sport for 2016 Olympics?
FIBA is campaigning to make "3-on-3 basketball" an Olympic sport possibly with the 2016 Olympics.
Here is the news item:
Stop the presses: a large, international governing body just had a great idea that would be really, really fun and really, really awesome. "USA Today" reports that the top executive for FIBA, the world's leading basketball organization, is proposing a three-on-three tournament be added to the Olympics. Secretary-general Patrick Baumann said Saturday that his group planned to propose it to be played as early as the 2016 Rio Games.
Three-on-three, the game played in driveways, on playgrounds and around the country during the annual Gus Macker tournaments, debuted in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. FIBA wants to create a comprehensive ranking system that would determine the best three-on-three teams in the world. FIBA already has a three-on-three world tour and world championship, but Baumann welcomed all three-on-three tournaments, such as Gus Macker and Hoop It Up, into the fold as long as those tournaments adhered to FIBA rules, including the registration of players in a database to chart wins and losses.
"Like volleyball has beach volleyball, swimming has synchronized swimming, we want three-on-three to be part of it," Baumann said. I can't believe it either but you can stop rubbing your eyes in amazement. Obviously there are a lot of kinks to work out here but this needs to happen.
The report indicates that individual countries would be responsible for "creating a format to determine which team it would send to the Olympics." The ideal format, of course, would be a "pros vs. joes" style tournament where a massive, national competition determines a winning group of amateurs, who then win the right to get slaughtered by the NBA's three best American players. The professionals would then move on to slaughter the rest of the world's top teams, just like in the Olympics' current five-on-five basketball version. This would be the best of all worlds: a chance to rally around an underdog story, a fun made-for-TV showdown between wanna-bes and the real deals, and then a global smackdown to cement national pride.
Really, though, you could argue that a three-on-three tournament would create a more level playing field, even among the world's best players. Without the ability to push tempo and translate forced turnovers into dunks, the gap between the USA and everybody else would narrow.