The New York Daily News is reporting that Ice Cube and his basketball league the Big3 have been hit with a $250 million lawsuit for allegedly "poaching players and proprietary ideas" from the Champion Basketball League which formed just three years ago. According to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, CBL founder Carl George claims the rapper, alongside his Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, originally wanted to work together to create something that could one day rival the NBA, but the Big3 swept the rug from right under them.
After recruiting "at least 20 players," the CBL nixed the idea of having them sign exclusive contracts, so they could also compete in the Big3. Cube and Kwatinetz supposedly turned around and inked those same players to exclusive deals. "When certain players expressed their desire to participate in the CBL games, Mr. Cube confronted the players personally about playing in the CBL and threatened the players that they would be fined, not allowed to participate in the 52% of revenues bonus pool, or replaced on their teams," the suit alleges. "These threats were also shared with the CBL."
Following a successful debut on FS1 where the Big3 averaged 400,000 viewers, the league has struggled to maintain a strong audience. On July 17, the delayed airing of that week's contest amassed just 148,000 viewers. The league will need to find a way to get the numbers back to what they once were if they have any chance of surviving.