Ice Cube Rumors
After a one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIG3 — the popular 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip-hop icon Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz — will tip off its 2021 season on July 10, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The fourth season of BIG3 action will be a 10-week campaign with games played at two locations: Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and at Xavier University, an HBCU in New Orleans, sources said. CBS will return as the broadcast partner and each contest will be aired live, sources said.
After graduating from Syracuse University in 1995, Chris Hannan spent 24 years working his way up in the sports industry. He became an executive at Fox Sports and then Endeavor, the major agency. But two years ago, Hannan accepted a role as chief marketing officer for Hemp Hydrate, a startup that sells hemp-infused water and other products. He enjoyed his time there, although he missed being in a sports environment. Now, he is in a position that marries his experience in marketing, media, sports and upstart companies. Hannan recently was named chief executive of the BIG3, a three-on-three, halfcourt basketball league featuring numerous former NBA players. The league was founded in 2017 by famous rapper/actor/entrepreneur Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, a Harvard Law School graduate and veteran music and entertainment executive. Kwatinetz, the former CEO whom Hannan replaced, will remain heavily involved.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Yes, some of the above have apologized — DeSean Jackson, Stephen Jackson, Chelsea Handler — while others continue to defiantly marinate in their own prejudice. Their arrogant and irrational response to accusations of anti-Semitism, rather than dissuade us, actually confirmed people’s worst opinions. Ice Cube’s response was remorseless: “What if I was just pro-Black? This is the truth brother. I didn’t lie on anyone. I didn’t say I was anti anybody. DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE. I’ve been telling my truth.” His “truth” was clearly anti-Semitic but, like Trump, he believes his truth exists outside facts. As writer Roxane Gay summed it up: “It is impossible to take you seriously with regards to social justice or anything when you post anti-Semitic imagery. What the fuck are you doing?”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is concerned that the anti-Semitic views spouted by former NBA player and activist Stephen Jackson, along with NFL player DeSean Jackson, can lead to what he fears most: “apathy to all forms of social justice,” which he dubbed the “Apatholypse.” As part of his columnist role at The Hollywood Reporter, the former Los Angeles Lakers and UCLA Bruins star center took both Jacksons to task, along with Big3 founder Ice Cube for his own insensitive social media threads, in a piece titled “Where is the Outrage Over Anti-Semitism in Sports and Hollywood?”
The Big 3 will delay a quarantined, reality show 3-on-3 pre-season basketball tournament from this month to either August or September because of ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus, a person familiar with the developments told USA TODAY Sports. The Big 3, which originally planned to begin its fourth season on June 20 in Memphis, is aiming to start the season in either the fall or the winter, the person added. “It’s a fluid situation,” a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s hard to provide a fixed date, but it’s happening.”
Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz previously told USA TODAY Sports that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, remained flexible on when to launch operations both because of their extensive planning and to account for public safety. “Ice Cube and I are in the business of entertaining people,” Kwatinetz said in late March. “In times like this, they need entertainment. We have to make sure it’s safe and that the basketball is credible and really competitive. We feel like we’re able to do that.”
Kwatinetz said that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, are “probably just a few days away” from finalizing various logistics to ensure the tournament is broadcast globally. That includes resuming talks with potential broadcast partners, calculating the show’s budget and the tournament’s rules and schedule. Kwatinetz said he has fielded interest “far in excess” for the potential 16 players. Former NBA players will mostly represent that field, but Kwatinetz said he wants to “include at least one or two of the best female players.” Part of that hinges on the WNBA schedule. It will hold a virtual draft on April 17 and said it remains on schedule with the beginning of training camp (April 26) and the season opener (May 15). The WNBA might change its itinerary, though, depending on if it is considered safe to resume business.