Veteran hip-hop-artist-turned-actor Ice Cube has been beefing with the National Basketball Association for years, alleging that the league is anti-Big3, a league he founded. The United States Department of Justice is reportedly looking into the allegations that the former N.W.A. rapper has lodged against the NBA.
According to TMZ, the government agency launched an inquiry into the allegations several months ago to see if the NBA is engaging in anti-competitive behavior toward the league that Ice Cube, born O’Shea Jackson, started with Jeff Kwatinetz.
It’s being reported that some current NBA players want to play in the Big3 but are not being allowed by the NBA, although they can play in other leagues not associated with the NBA, like the Drew League in California.
The DOJ is investing the NBA for alleged “anticompetitive behavior” targeted at the BIG3, per TMZ.
“Some current players have expressed a desire to play in [the BIG3] in the offseason… as the Big3 sees it, the NBA has prevented guys from doing so.” pic.twitter.com/fM6f4l8o5e
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) October 24, 2023
The Big3 league is made up of mostly retired NBA players.
Cube has also alleged that the NBA has discouraged potential sponsors and broadcast networks from getting in bed with them. He believes that the NBA unfairly targets his league and that NBA owners have been discouraged from making investments in the Big3.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass has spoken about the league being supportive of Cube’s league but denies the allegations of them interfering with potential sponsors and preventing television networks from working with the BIG3. He told TMZ, “Those claims are not true.”
“We have been supportive of the Big3 since its inception, but we declined to invest,” he said.
A source has also revealed that Cube and Kwatinetz spoke with the Department of Justice earlier this year about the NBA’s alleged actions against the Big3. They also informed the media outlet that the DOJ has contacted several NBA owners about this.
Cube and his business partner debuted the 3-on-3, half-court basketball league in January 2017.
Last year, the Big3 became the first professional sports league certified by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Black-owned and operated business.
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