Mid-season takeaways from a thrilling FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023

MIES (Switzerland) - It's already been an incredible FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023, but we're just getting warmed up because the action is set to go into overdrive at the business end of the season.

While we have a short breather, let's take a mid-season temperature check.

Ub Huishan NE are a dynasty 

Whatever happens for the rest of the way, 2023 is almost certainly going to be remembered for Ub Huishan NE's record six straight titles to start the season. 

As the World Tour increasingly gets deeper and more talented, it's quite incredible that Ub reeled off such a streak. It's a record that could last a long time. 

Ub haven't had the continuity as last season with their line-ups shuffling around.

But the results have remained the same because they have such a brilliant system, while their fitness and sheer passion appear a notch above the competition. 

Ub - like last year - perhaps predictably did start to tail off before the mid-season break. These Serb superheroes might finally have started feeling tired or maybe they are pacing themselves in what is considerably the longest season in World Tour history. 

If they can regroup after the break and recapture their dominance then Ub might just achieve another feat - the GOAT 3x3 team. 

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It's 'Doctor Strange's' multiverse 

Strahinja Stojacic has been the best player of the last couple of years, but elevated his game to another level in 2023. 

There is no dispute who has the belt of best player alive. It's 'Doctor Strange', who has won three Masters MVPs - and also took top honors at the World Cup and Europe Cup.

He leads almost all major stats, but numbers don't do him justice because the Ub superstar controls the half-court like no other. The 31-year-old understands the right balance of aggression and stepping back to let his teammates cook. 

'Doctor Strange' is at the peak of his powers and we are all just living in his multiverse. 

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Worthy is on a never-ending heater

Who has been the most entertaining player on the World Tour? It just has to be Worthy de Jong, whose first full season has more than lived up to the hype. 

There probably hasn't been a prolonged heater like what we've seen from this Dutch hoops legend, who is averaging an insane 9.2 ppg from 24 games. 

Scoring buckets is one thing, but it's the way he's been doing it that makes it even more impressive. De Jong has had 17 dunks this season and many times more crazy acrobatic layups at the rim. 

No one attacks the rack harder than the 6ft. 4in (1.94m) athletic beast, who if he can lead Amsterdam to title glory can start challenging Stojacic's crown.

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'Jimmer Mania' has swept 3x3

No player - maybe ever - has stepped on the World Tour with more anticipation than Miami star Jimmer Fredette.

That's because this dude has more fans than at a Taylor Swift concert with the American having a loyal base dating back to his legendary college career.

The former long-time NBA player has found the perfect landing spot on the half-court with his deadly long-range shooting and ability to cook in iso making him unstoppable. 

Fredette is averaging 7.6 ppg and a crazy 44% from 2s, but you just know the best is still to come. 

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3x3 is deeper than ever 

The standard in 3x3 is getting ridiculous. The World Tour is absolutely loaded and we've had some amazing additions in 2023. 

Beijing and Futian loaded up with superstars, but it was Hangzhou who became the first Chinese team to go all the way on the World Tour after their shock triumph in Constanta

Miami's awesome foursome double as Team USA and they started to click just before the break. They look set to end their title drought soon. 

The new gen from Puerto Rico have lived up to the hype and already made a final this season, so too Tel-Aviv and Podgorica Kodio who produced one of the greatest giant-killing runs after an insane performance in Constanta. 

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It all means that the World Tour is totally unpredictable and all you can do is buckle up and enjoy this crazy ride. 

New stars have emerged 

It's been so exciting welcoming a host of new stars, who have taken the World Tour by storm. 

Antonio Ralat from San Juan has been an absolute assassin, while dynamic duo Vladimir Trajkovic and Goran Vidovic have lifted Hangzhou to the absolute heights. 

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Ning Zhang is Liman Huisan NE's newest superstar and this Chinese bulldozer will soon have a billion fans because he's the next big thing.

A pair of unicorns have also caught our eye with Dusseldorf LFDY's Niklas Kropp and Wuxi's Jiaren Zhao towering dudes possessing every trick in the tool box.

It's just not fair!


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