In an attempt to make the Olympics more appealing to women and the young, urban demographic, the IOC has added mixed relays, freestyle BMX (motocross) and 3-on-3 basketball to the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
I understand the desire to attract more hip, young viewers. I'm all for including more females. Every four years, the Olympics allow women to share the spotlight and be sporting equals. But really, 3-on-3 hoops?
The IOC likes it because you need only three top players to compete, making it harder for the Americans to dominate as they have in men's and women's play. But it cheapens the sport. The international game has been thriving since NBA players were allowed in the Olympics. It doesn't need this.
Word is, the NBA players won't support 3-on-3. LeBron James said he's a 5-on-5. Most top players would agree. I doubt they would give up a chunk of their summer and put more wear and tear on their bodies to win a glorified Gus Macker.
What's next? Shootout competitions and 3-on-3 hockey in the Winter Olympics? Exotic sports are OK, but the IOC shouldn't push them at the expense of traditional sports like swimming, wrestling and indoor volleyball, which need the exposure a lot more than hoops.