Let's hoop! 3x3 basketball is Olympic version of pickup game

Japan Olympic Basketball 3x3
Posted at 11:15 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 12:15:42-04

TOKYO — The latest stop on the perennial search for the younger, attention-span-challenged audience for the Olympics might look familiar — the blacktop, and 3-on-3 basketball.

It won't be exactly a pickup game, mind you. And once the Olympics gets hold of this version of street hoops, it will only share a faint resemblance to anything happening on an urban playground.

For one, there will be no Americans playing in the men’s tournament. Another difference is that these games will have refs, a scoreboard, each team gets one sub.

But some of it might look familiar. Games are first to 21, or whoever is winning after 10 minutes. Teams have to clear the ball back to around the 3-point line after rebounds. Inside buckets are worth one, and “3s” are worth two.