Actor and rapper Ice Cube loves basketball and wants to keep watching his favorite NBA stars play, so he founded the new Big3, a three-on-three basketball league featuring former NBA players.
Ice Cube and former NBA superstar Allen Iverson launched the Big3 at a news conference in New York City on Wednesday (11 January), according to a report on ESPN. The league will feature Iverson as a player/coach, and other retired NBA players like Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, Rashard Lewis and Stephen Jackson.
Ice Cube started the league along with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. Former National Basketball Players association deputy executive director and NBA player Roger Mason, Jr. will serve as the league’s commissioner and president.
“The Big3 was created as the ultimate basketball fan experience,” said Big3 founder Ice Cube in a press release. “We’re bringing some of the baddest names to ever play the game, and giving them a platform to not only showcase their skills, but to entertain their fans in a high-energy, physical and competitive environment. As a diehard basketball fan, I personally can’t wait to see my favorite players back in action.”
Iverson, 41, was excited to be a part of the new league, which will begin play on June 24.
"When I got the call it was a no-brainer. It's Ice Cube. You don't turn that down," Iverson said at the press conference. "That's success looking right into your eyes. I wanted to be a part of it."
The league promises plenty of fan interaction as it tours arenas, including opportunities to mingle with the players.
The Big3 will play only on Saturdays, packing all games into one day. The games will only be half-court outings and will end when one of the teams hits 60 points. There will be 2, 3 and even 4-point shots players can sink.
The league’s website encapsulated the concept: “The Big3 is a touring league that packs the energy of All-Star Weekend into a one day event! While touring, it brings excitement to new arenas and markets. The teams will feature basketball greats and exciting fan favorites.
“There are eight teams of five players with one coach per team. The 8 week regular season will move into Week nine playoffs and the Week 10 championship.”