In case you haven’t heard, Red Bull Reign is the ultimate 3-on-3 tournament and is heading to Australia for the very first time this October. The competition will be held in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne and tests the competitors’ basketball skills in both quality and quantity, with the winning team playing an exhausting 13 games in the day.
NBL legend Lanard Copeland is excited to take part in the event, which will be played when the good weather awakens from its winter slumber and during a time most basketballers have a gap in their calendar.
It also provides Copeland with a chance to re-live his younger days of playing street ball in Georgia, where he grew up.
“The Red Bull Reign is a 3-on-3 concept which came out of America, it’s a competition to get basketball going at this time of the year,” Copeland said. “You know a lot of the basketball’s finished and we are looking for high quality players who can play the game. Street ball, back to the roots for myself and the guys who are playing.”
After playing against the best competition in Australia for 17 seasons, who would Copeland choose as his ultimate 3-on-3 team, based on his playing days in the NBL?
Copeland names his team without a moment’s hesitation.
“If we are talking about ultimate 3-on-3 team back in the day, it would be me, [Andrew] Gaze and [Mark] Bradtke.”
He went on to elaborate. “You got the big man covered who plays defense, you got a guy who can shoot from the other side of the court in Gaze and I can get up and catch that alley-oop so, that would be my ultimate 3-on-3 team.”
Unfortunately for Copeland and NBL fans everywhere, he was unable to get the band back together for the Red Bull Reign, although he did entertain the idea.
“We thought about that, but they might too old to be out there competing,” Copeland says with a laugh. “Although Andrew is still playing every Monday night, I think the knees have given in, he’s not running a lot, he needs to be on that hard wood floor and not expected to do a lot, he can still shoot the ball very well and Bradke is just a bit too busy, although I did ask him. It would have been great to have that combination back out there.”
Copeland will instead be teaming up with another NBL legend for the competition.
“I’ve gone with the next best, which is D-Mac.”
You heard that right; he’ll be teaming up with Darryl ‘D-Mac’ McDonald, the steals and assists guru and Copeland’s longtime crosstown rival.
While their best days might be behind them, Copeland says his main motivation for taking part is simply to compete against quality competition once more.
“We’re not going to try be out there and be superstars, we just want to compete and see what happens.” Copeland said.
Registration is still open for the Red Bull Reign, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, you can register your team here. Join in the conversation by using the #reign3x3 hashtag on social media.
Stay tuned for more from our exclusive chat with Lanard Copeland who recently talked to The Pick and Roll about a variety of basketball topics.