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Ice Cube and the Big 3 League have come up with a plan to continue entertaining basketball fans quarantined due to the current global pandemic. Cube and the league are partnering with the producers of Big Brother for a “quarantined reality hoops tournament” kicking off in early May, the rapper and entrepreneur announced on Twitter last Thursday (March 27).
Continuing to change the game every day. @thebig3 is partnering with the producers of Big Brother to launch a quarantined reality hoops tournament in early May. pic.twitter.com/On3O8on4lH
— Ice Cube (@icecube) March 27, 2020
According to Yahoo! Sports, Cube and Big 3 co-founder, Jeff Kwatinetz, have been in talks with multiple networks to broadcast the tournament. The three-on-three tournament will reportedly include 16 to 22 players, all of whom have tested negative for coronavirus, and will be quarantined in Los Angles home, courtesy of the Big3 League. Cameras will capture the games and the players’ daily lives. The production crew will be housed at an offsite location.
Players will be eliminated after netting three losses. The top three remaining players will win millions in cash and prizes.
Kwatinetz said that the goal is to provide fans with a “safe, entertaining brand of basketball” to help get through the pandemic.
“Cube and I have been in the entertainment business for 30 years. This is our job,” Kwatinetz explained. “People want to be entertained with all we’re going through and enjoy our sports. We think this will help.”
Basketball fans have been going through withdrawals since the NBA has suspended its season because of the coronavirus, but they'll get the next best thing. ESPN has announced that its Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance would be released in April instead of June.
The Last Dance, a ten-part series, will now begin on April 19. It tells the story of Jordan and the Bulls' last championship season in 1997-1998, and includes never-before-seen footage from an NBA Entertainment crew that followed them around that year. ESPN also spoke to more than 100 people close to the team.
"As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience," ESPN said in a statement. "We've heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we're happy to announce that we've been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that. This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans."
The NBA suspended its season after two-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, of the Utah Jazz, tested positive for the coronavirus. Had the season not been suspended, fans would be preparing for the NBA's playoff race. Other sports leagues followed suit after the NBA's decision, and other athletes, including Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell and Brooklyn Nets Star Kevin Durant, have also tested positive. Mitchell and Gobert have since been cleared of the virus.
Although the NBA is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the professional basketball league is still giving fans content to dissect. On Friday (March 27), the entity continues its NBA Together Live campaign with performances from Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee alongside Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo (who also sings), and DJ D-Nice who has kept the virtual dance party going since earlier this month.
The NBA Together program was launched in response to the virus’ outbreak that has plagued several countries. Stateside, New York has remained the epicenter of the coronavirus’ contagion rate.
"The program is centered on four pillars—Know the Facts, Acts of Caring, Expand Your Community and NBA Together Live—that will amplify the latest global health and safety information, share guidelines and resources, and keep people and communities socially connected through digital tools and virtual events as everyone copes with the impact of the pandemic," a statement from the entity reads. "As part of NBA Together, the NBA family is committed to contributing and helping raise more than $50 million to support people impacted by the coronavirus and community and healthcare organizations providing vital services around the world, which includes the more than $30 million financial commitment already made by NBA and WNBA teams and players to date."
Swae Lee and Oladipo will launch their performances on the NBA’s Instagram channel at 3 p.m. EST while DJ D-Nice will take over from 7-9 p.m. EST.
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#NBATogetherLive brings you a special edition of @dnice’s #ClubQuarantine on @nba IG LIVE at 7:00pm/et TONIGHT!
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🎙 @vicoladipo of the @pacers will be going live on our NBA Instagram at 3:00pm/et TODAY for a concert with some special guests! #NBATogetherLive