Olympic basketball: We got next! Yeah! The three of us!

Neat event starting tomorrow — the 3-on-3 basketball world championships. It might be over 100 degrees on the outdoor court, but the venue is cool. For the USA, Skylar Diggins will be there. And we can’t wait for the opening matchup of Slovenia and Nepal.

Should be tons of fun. And organizers are hoping the 3-person version of the sport will be … in the Olympics?

Could be worse. It could be the And1 streetball tour.

This isn’t the only variant of an existing sport being pushed for the Games. Futsal, the indoor soccer game without walls, had a bit of a push recently.

It’s easier to add a new event than a new sport … unless, for some reason, you’re talking about women’s ski jumping. You already have the federation involved. That’s how cycling has managed to add mountain bike and BMX in the past few decades.

But like futsal, 3-on-3 basketball has a few issues:

1. The Games won’t get the best players. Beach volleyball is an exception to the rule on having two variants of the same sport — some players are better-suited to the sand, and the two-player format in particular brings a different dynamic than the indoor version. Soccer players don’t grow up aspiring to be futsal greats, and it’s hard to imagine basketball players growing up aspiring to play 3v3.

2. No one watches basketball and thinks, “You know what I hate about this game? Fast breaks.”

3. If the Olympics are really desperate to get the younger demographic, they’ll just add skateboarding. (Though skateboarding is not one of the eight sports being considered.)

So a World Championship at a Greek historic site? Cool. Olympics? I’ll just say I’m skeptical.

Published by

Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

3 thoughts on “Olympic basketball: We got next! Yeah! The three of us!”

  1. You might enjoy perusing the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF.org), which is the stage from which candidate sports (not events) are drawn. Some fascinating sports there – fun to introduce late in the semester when we’re talking about “politicking about sports.”

  2. There’s the “World Games”. Organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).(according to wikipedia). Held every four years. Next one is in 2013 in Colombia. An eclectic (?) grouping of sports not able to get into the Olympics. Everythng from artistic rollerskating to sumo. Karate is listed. And tug-of-war. I want tug-of-war back in the Olympics!!!

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