Ice Cube Rumors
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.
None of the professional sports leagues have any certainty on when they can resume play. Not with the coronavirus outbreak growing by the day. That has not inhibited the Big3, however, from making plans for its fourth season, a pre-season tournament and even a reality show. The 3-on-3 basketball league partnered with media production company Endemal, which has produced the highly-rated reality show “Big Brother,” to create a quarantined reality show and a three-week pre-season tournament starting the first week of May. Big3 also plans to open its fourth season of its 12-team league on June 20 in Memphis. “We can’t control what happens with the virus. Nobody can control it,” Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz told USA TODAY Sports. “If that has to be pushed back a week or two, that’s possible. But we feel pretty good about being able to be up and running in May.”
The Big3 has partnered with media giant Endemol — producers of the smash hit reality TV show “Big Brother” — to create the league’s quarantined reality-show basketball tournament, league sources told Yahoo Sports. “Big Brother” has been a hit in more than 50 countries and is still broadcast in over 20 countries.
The plan is to make the show an annual preseason Big3 tournament, sources said. Cube and Kwatinetz are in the process of finalizing the rules for the show, engaging in dialogue with possible sponsors and narrowing down potential global TV broadcast partners, sources said. While it would seem that CBS would be the show’s logical home because “Big Brother” and The Big3 air on the network, there is talk that the show is being aggressively pursued by another suitor, sources said.
After receiving a negative coronavirus test result, players and referees will be quarantined in the same Los Angeles-area home provided by the league for the three-week tournament, which will consist of 16 players, sources said. The tournament could also include some of the world’s best female players, sources said.
The founders of the league — hip-hop icon and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz — have been having ongoing conversations with multiple TV networks since late last week to broadcast the tournament, which is expected to also garner international interest, sources said.