Allen Iverson Will Play In Ice Cube’s New BIG 3 Basketball League (Video)

This morning (January 11), Ice Cube and his partners in his new BIG3 basketball league held a private press conference in New York City. There, details emerged about the emerging half-court 3-on-3 league designed for professional players who have since retired from the NBA. Late last month, Cube’s league, a partnership with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, made news when it recruited former NBA Players Association Deputy Executive Director (and former player) Roger Mason, Jr. With that announcement, several former NBA stars including Gary Payton, Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, and Jason Williams confirmed plans to play.

New details emerged this morning. The league season will launch this coming June 24. Notably, a litany of NBA superstars have confirmed. Hall Of Fame inductee Allen Iverson will play as well as coach one of the eight teams. Each team consists of five players, which now also include a pool featuring Chauncey Billups, Mike Bibby, Bonzi Wells, George Gervin and Stephen Jackson.

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Scoring for the half-court, 3-on-3 league will work like this: the first team to score 30 points forces halftime. The first team to score 60 points automatically wins the game. However, all wins must be by at least 4 points. With several sharp-shooters already enlisted, the 4-point shot will be added, from three designated circles beyond the traditional 3-point arc. In lieu of traditional a tip-off, teams will nominate shooters for a “do or die” to start the game at the key. Winners of the challenge, can opt to start with the ball in the first half or second, not unlike the football coin-toss. The games will feature two referees.

“The BIG3 was created as the ultimate basketball fan experience,” says Cube in a BIG 3 press statement. The MC-turned-actor-turned-Hollywood producer moves to sports. “We’re bringing in 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 can’t wait to see my favorite players back in action.” During the press conference, the MC turned actor turned mogul also said of the league, “This started off as a dream. It sucks to see your favorite player retire,” said Ice Cube. “It sucks. It’s nothing good about it. Especially, when you know they still got game.” “My father always told me, ‘If you don’t think big, you will always be small,’ so we came up with a big idea.”

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Including “The Answer,” each team will have a coach and an assistant. All coaches must have NBA league playing experience. The season will span two months, with 2017 season’s final playoff games concluding on August 26. The BIG3 will travel to cities each week, taking its star-power and skill on the road. Moreover, the experience is tailored to the fans. Given Cube’s acclaimed musical background, it is no surprise that musically-choreographed player introductions will amplify the pre-game excitement. League organizers compared this to boxing or UFC introductions. These rosters of players, including Hall Of Famers, all-stars, and champions, will also reportedly be accessible to fans in post-games, for autographs and interaction.

During the conference, Iverson addressed the audience, as well. “When I got the call, it was a no-brainer,” said A.I. “It’s Ice Cube. You don’t turn that down. That’s success looking you right into your eyes. I just want to be a part of it, and I hope me being a part of it makes it a success.”

Bolstering Iverson’s point about the importance of the players, Mason said “The league is player-powered.” From his post with the NBA, the former journeyman player has advocated players rights and interests. Players, totaling 40 in the league, hold a 52% combined revenue share of BIG3. This will be divided equally among all the players and coaches, relative to their season standings. At the book-ends, first place will take 30% of overall revenue, with eighth place taking 2.5%.

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Players also operate their teams, with a designated team captain making personnel moves. Trades can be made prior to the first game. Captains will select co-captains, select a head coach, and draft the other three players to complete the roster.

Ice Cube is presently mourning the January 9 death of his producer and longtime DJ, Crazy Toones. The two had been working together since DJ Crazy Toones’ days as a member of WC & The Maad Circle. Toones, is also the brother of Cube’s Westside Connection band-mate and Lench Mob Records artist WC.