Ice Cube’s BIG3 League Hit With $250 Million Lawsuit For Allegedly Stealing Players And Ideas
Ice Cube’s new sports venture, the BIG3 basketball league, by all indications had a very successful first season. With former NBA stars like Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, Jason Williams, Charles Oakley, Mike Bibby, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups and Cuttino Mobley taking part, the league’s first 8-game season went about as good as one could have hoped.
However, now BIG3 founders Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson) and Jeff Kwatinetz are facing a $250 million lawsuit over allegedly stealing players and ideas from the recently formed Champion Basketball League.
According to the Daily News, CBL founder Carl George says that Ice Cube and Kwatinetz stole their ideas and goods after getting close to CBL management and players following the league’s 2014 launch.
CBL and BIG3 originally teamed up as partners with the goal of creating a mutually-beneficial business startup that one day would compete with the National Basketball Association, George’s lawsuit contends.
CBL recruited former NBA players whose talents went to waste due to team salary cap restrictions. But they did not sign exclusive contracts, partly so their outside activities could help promote the nascent organization.
That allowed them to play for the former N.W.A. front man on the side. But then BIG3, in a backstabbing move, signed them to exclusive deals and broke the terms of the agreement through a series of flagrant fouls.
The lawsuit also alleges that when players expressed an interest in playing in CBL games in addition to BIG3 games Ice 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 BIG3 league’s first champions were team Trilogy who went 8-0 with a roster of Rashad McCants, James White, Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington and Dion Glover. The league’s MVP was won by Rashard Lewis who averaged 21.3 points per game, while James White won Defensive Player of the Year with Rick Mahorn winning Coach of the Year honors.