After spending three years playing for The Heat, Marcus Banks has started a new adventure—playing with the Big 3 League. We caught up with the NBA veteran to chat about life after the NBA and his favorite Miami hotspots.
Tell us about the Big 3 league and what it is like to be playing 3 on 3 basketball professionally. MARCUS BANKS: The Big 3 has been nothing short of amazing. Ice Cube is such a visionary and he has exceeded expectations with this league. From the fraternity and brotherhood with the guys to being able to trash talk, laugh, joke, and reminisce is priceless. Then you have the rush of playing in front of 10,000 plus fans weekly while being on TV at the same time—I’m sure no one expected this second chance. Lastly, the family environment and being able to share these experiences with them first hand is everything. From having your kids at practice shagging balls to your family riding to the game in the sprinter to having your kids with you in the press conferences—it means everything.
How has the transition from the NBA been? MB: My transition from the NBA has been rather smooth. With most professional athletes there comes a time where other things become priority and you’re okay with moving on to the next chapter in life. For me, being at my kids football games, track meets, and parent teacher conferences has made me at ease with no longer playing in the League.
What can fans expect when coming to a Big 3 Game? MB: Fans can expect everything they never expected in a professional basketball game! From the most intimidating trash talking, to very physical basketball, to celebrities everywhere, half time concerts every week, and close interaction with the fans and the celebrities.
Who is a standout rookie player on The Heat? MB: I like Hassan Whiteside. I actually played in Lebanon the season following Hassan playing there. It’s just great to see these kids never give up on their dream and going wherever basketball takes them.
Which NBA team is the one to watch this season? MB: It’s going to be a few this year but I’ll be watching The Cavs.
Where is your favorite place to work out during off season in Miami? MB: My favorite place to work out in Miami is always the University of Miami and the Grove. The run was always good there.
Where is your favorite Miami hotspot to eat and drink? MB: I basically opened Prime 112 , The Forge when it was “The Forge”, Karu and Y, News Café, Mr. Chow, and Fifi’s. My favorite menu items are the fried cheese, rock shrimp, and frozen lemonade. Last but not least, Liv!
What is your favorite Miami Hotel Bar? MB: My favorite hotel bar is The Delano and The Clevelander. But you can’t forget Mangos and Wet Willies—always a good vibe and very Miami.