Ice Cube has a traveling basketball league for retired NBA players kicking off next summer, The Vertical reports. Former Miami Heat player Roger Mason, will be stepping down as deputy director of the National Basketball Players Association, to join Cube and business partner Jeff Kwatinetz in the Big 3 league.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Cube told The Vertical. “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?’
Aside from Mason, Jermaine O’Neal, Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, and Jason Williams, have signed on for the league, while Gary Payton will coach.
“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing,” Cube continued. “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.”
The Big3 is expected to tour for 10 consecutive weeks beginning June 24.