Ice Cube Launching Basketball League Featuring Retired NBA Players
Ice Cube is taking his talents to the NBA. Well, not actually. The rapper-actor has teamed up with former NBA player Roger Mason to create a summertime three-on-three basketball league for retired NBA players.
According to Yahoo Sports, Mason will become the president and commissioner of the league called the BIG3 and it will launch in June. The league will consists of eight teams of five players – including an ex-player as coach, as well as a team captain – that’ll tour together from city to city.
So far, retired NBA players Jermaine O'Neal, Rashard Lewis, Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson and Jason Williams have been tapped to play on teams, league officials said.
Ice Cube is the founder of the new league and has been heavily involved in the planning of the new basketball league start-up. He considers the new venture as a great way for fans to still see their favorite veteran b-ballers hoop it up on the court.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” said Cube. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights."
“I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’ It’s the most normal form of basketball," he added. "And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?’"
Cube is currently working on securing a television rights deal, so fans can watch the games at home. The rap mogul feels there's a void left open when the NBA close their the season in June.
“In the summer, people have a basketball hangover from the [NBA] Finals and nothing to watch but some midseason baseball and football players warming up," he said. "It sucks, and [the attraction is] to have a league to look forward to, and players they know and want to see ball against each other - grown-man basketball with guys who can still battle."
“I’m totally involved in this," he continued. "I’ve even neglected a little bit of [my] other work to focus on the infrastructure of this league – how it’s going to be put together – so that the fan and players get the league that they deserve.”