Ice Cube launches a new three-on-three basketball league for retired NBA players.
The league named BIG3, will include former NBA stars Jason Williams, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal and more. Cube founded the league, will be in charge of its planning, development and execution.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube 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.”
The West Coast rapper/actor is teaming up with retired baller Roger Mason, Jr. to form the new league. Mason played 10 years in the NBA before becoming the Deputy Executive Director of the NBA Players Association.
Mason is slated to be the BIG3’s first president and commissioner and NBA Hall-of-Famer and Seattle Supersonics legend Gary Payton is already on board to be a head coach.
According to The Vertical, the league will consist of eight teams with five players each, meaning there will be two subs on each side at all times.
“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,” Ice Cube says “And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen? Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play… some of these guys still want a stage to play on,” Cube says.