Ice Cube isn’t too happy with the NBA or ESPN. Just days after his BIG3 three-on-three basketball league was certified as a black-owned business, Cube accused both companies of trying to destroy BIG3.
Over the weekend, Cube reposted a clip of former NBA player and current podcast host Stephen Jackson encouraging basketball lovers to watch and support the league. In response to the post, Cube wrote, “We definitely need everybody’s support. The @nba and @espn are doing everything in their powers to ignore or destroy @thebig3.”
This isn’t the first time Cube has spoken out against the NBA. In 2020, he accused the professional basketball league of stealing their all-star format to use in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
In an interview with Basketball News, he said, “The NBA hasn’t been the nicest to the BIG3. Of course, publicly, they say all the right words. But we know privately, there’s things done behind the scenes [with] sponsors, broadcasters, blah blah blah… It did tarnish my fandom a bit.”
If these accusations are true, I wonder why the NBA isn’t playing nicely with the BIG3? The three-on-three basketball league features former NBA players and doesn’t conflict with the NBA season at all. In fact, it helps expands its popularity because its season starts right after the NBA Finals are over. It makes basketball a year-round sport.
On Friday, the BIG3 was recognized by the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and ByBlack as a Black-owned and operated business, but it is in fact not the first Black-owned sports league.
Did anyone forget that Negro League Baseball existed? According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, on Feb. 13, 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster and other owners of Negro League Teams came together to create the Negro National League.
Even predating the Negro National League, the National Colored Baseball League was created in 1887 as a minor league, but only last for a couple of weeks due to low attendance.