Summer basketball staples such as the Drew League keep basketball fans satiated during the agonizing offseason months. Now, there’s an exciting new league to add to the mix: BIG3.
A big reason for the excitement? Ice Cube is one of its founders.
Yes, the hip-hop legend-turned-actor is partnering with Roger Mason—former NBA player and most recently the deputy executive director of the NBA Players’ Association–and investors to form BIG3, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
But wait, there’s more!
A whole bunch of former NBA players will participate in the league, including Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, Rashard Lewis, and Jason Williams. That’s the Jason Williams (Kings), not Jayson Williams (who went to jail for killing a limousine driver) or Jay Williams (the former Duke star turned ESPN college basketball analyst).
Former league players will coach the teams, too; Gary Payton will be one such coach.
There will be eight teams of five players, and they’ll tour between various cities playing three-on-three. Yep, three-on-three. Sign me up.
(But really, I'm available. I can stretch the floor. Believe in me, Ice Cube!)
Ice Cube seems to have put some real thought into this enterprise.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” he told The Vertical. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire–just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.”
Additionally, three-on-three feels organic; it’s true to pick-up roots.
“I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’” Ice Cube said. “It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?’”
The league will start June 24 and run for 10 weeks, and they’re currently working on a TV rights deal, according to The Vertical.
Could this business model work? That remains to be seen. Though BIG3 has the capital of investors at its back, the league will need to secure some sponsorships, in addition to that vital TV revenue.
Whether it flames out after one year or turns into something enduring, BIG3 should be a fun new league to watch.