Las Vegas, NV – Over a decade after hearing his name called at the 2005 NBA Draft, Rashad McCants heard his name called again, this time as the No. 1 overall pick in Sunday’s BIG3 player draft at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The BIG3 is a three-on-three league involving former NBA players. More than 70 players signed up in hopes of playing for one of the eight teams in the league.
McCants was drafted at the top of the draft by Team Trilogy, who is led by captains Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington and head coach Rick Mahorn. Rapper Ice Cube is one of the founders.
The former UNC guard didn’t have much of a relationship with his new teammates before the draft but needless to say, he impressed them with a strong showing at Saturday’s combine.
“Nope, not at all, not at all,” Martin told FOX Sports when asked if Team Trilogy drafted based on previous relationships. “I put on my Instagram, #NoFriendsInTheDraft. So nah, it’s about winning. We cool, but I’m about winning. So if we not friends because I didn’t pick you in this, we were never friends.”
McCants was a standout player at North Carolina before being selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft. He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings from 2005 to 2009. He has also played professionally in the D-League and in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Harrington and Martin, who played a season together for the Nuggets, pulled the trigger on McCants with ease on Sunday and the shooting guard says it’s partly thanks to the hard work he put in after throwing his name in the hat for the new league.
“I’m a fitness trainer, it’s what I do for work,” McCants told FOX Sports. “But I just put a lot of two-a-days in and just made sure I was in shape and could move up and down. I think now, at 32, I feel like I’ve been out the league for so long I’m still 24 or 25. I can still move and do all the things to help the team win.”
McCants’ efforts in the gym didn’t go to waste as he was selected over players who managed more successful NBA careers, like DeShawn Stevenson and Larry Hughes, and a few who you could argue should have been taken on name recognition alone, like Steve Francis.
However, McCants knows that hard work beats talent on most days, so he set out to be as prepared as possible for another chance at playing competitive basketball without having to travel abroad.
“Man, I’m humbled and grateful. Just to be a part of the league and be able to be a participant was just major. The preparation for it all was major but then to get picked No. 1 is an appreciate factor because guys recognize my talent, the hard work I put in over the years, and I just came in in-shape and ready to play. So I feel like it was much deserved.”
Other players drafted for the league includes Allen Iverson, Corey Maggette and Julius “Dr. J” Irving as one on the coaches. The league will begin play on June 25 with the inaugural games held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Big 3 League will play four games at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on July 2.
For more info, click here. http://big3.com/index.php