Ice Cube and Former NBA Star Roger Mason Form New Summer League

Ice Cube and Former NBA Star Roger Mason Form New Summer League
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Ice Cube and Former NBA Star Roger Mason Form New Summer League
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Do you have a New Year’s resolution yet? Take a cue from Ice Cube and former NBA star Roger Mason. Form your own basketball league, and call it BIG3.

The Vertical reports that popular hip-hop star and actor Ice Cube will form his own basketball league. Dubbed BIG3, the league will consist of retired NBA stars.

The new league is spearheaded by both Ice Cube and former NBA deputy executive director Roger Mason. He’s leaving the National Basketball Players Association, or NBPA, to serve as president and commissioner. His departure comes after the union successfully negotiated a new Seven Year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Roger Mason started his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls in 2002. He last played with the Miami Heat in 2014. At the NBPA, Mason headed up efforts to provide better health care and increased benefits to retired NBA stars. The labor union reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars in care.

BIG3 will launch in Summer 2017. Plans include eight teams of five players, including an ex-player as coach as well as team captain. BIG3 will tour from city-to-city starting in late June.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, retired stars joining BIG3 include Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams. Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton agreed to be a coach, according to league officials.

Ice Cube told The Vertical that he’s been “intimately involved in the planning, development and execution of the league’s start-up.” Until Mason joined, Ice Cube planned to be the BIG3 commissioner.

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore. A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

“I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’ It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?”

BIG3 is Ice Cube and Roger Mason bet that retired players’ court skills will compel basketball fans. At the same time, retired stars won’t have to submit to exhausting nightly matches. The eight teams will form part of a four-game basketball festival with musical acts and other entertainment. BIG3 will start on June 24 and play for 10 consecutive weeks.

The BIG3 website is now live. Ice Cube continued,

“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”