“I’m Not Part of the Club” | Ice Cube Takes To Social Media To Complain That NBA Is Threatened By Big3 League, Trying To Suppress It Through “Gatekeeping”

O’Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, came to what he is characterizing as an ugly realization about Black ownership in America. Black people are constantly working and operating in spaces they are not wanted. Sports is no different and he took to his Twitter account on Sunday afternoon to voice his frustrations.

Ice Cube speaking on the Big3 success without help from the NBA. (Photo: @icecube/ Twitter screenshot)

The successful rapper and actor co-founded the Big3 basketball league in 2017. The league has experienced trials and tribulations, like any new professional league, but is still hanging around. They are headed into their sixth season and Ice Cube says he has done it with little to no support from the NBA.

No Help

The Big3 basketball league is a 3-on-3 league that is filled with former NBA players spread across their 12 teams. It provides an opportunity for younger players to get notice and older players to stay playing the game they love.

The league has had Gilbert Arenas, Allen Iverson, Joe Johnson, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, Mario Chalmers, streetball legend Frank ‘Frank Nitty’ Session, and others to suit up. It also featured Hall of famers such as Gary Payton, Lisa Leslie, and George ‘Iceman’ Gervin that are head coaches.

Why wouldn’t the NBA want to get behind them with this type of talent? Ice Cube gives one simple explanation to answer that question.

“Some of you may not have realized that I’m not part of the club,” Ice Cube said during the video. “And a lot of you listening to me right here and right now, you are not part of the club either. And what I realized with the club is, what makes them so mad is when you don’t want to be a part of they (expletive) club. That pisses them off. What club am I talking about? I’m talking about the club of gatekeepers that we all got to deal with. You know who they are and they definitely know who they are.”

He continued by saying the Big3 and the NBA doesn’t have a partnership together.

“Now, a lot of people might say, ‘But, Cube, we want to work with the NBA,'” he continued. “Really, I don’t give a (expletive) about working with the NBA. What I want them to do, when I say ‘Work with us,’ is to stop working against us. …And that’s cool, we can do it ourselves, you know what I’m saying?”

Not Alone

Unfortunately, a lot of Black people have experienced what Ice Cube is saying. Brian Davis bid was barely heard when he made a $7 billion offer to buy the Washington Commanders. Many questioned whether he had enough money to make that type of offer.

In 2017, Diddy made it known that he was interested in buying the Carolina Panthers when former owner Jerry Richardson put the team on the market following the season. His offer was not taken seriously either. Probably in part because he wanted to sign Colin Kaepernick and it is not known whether or not if he submitted a formal offer to buy the team.

In both the NBA and NFL, there was only one Black owner despite both leagues having at least 60 percent of its players being Black. Michael Jordan recently sold his stake in the Charlotte Hornets and now there are no Black owners in NFL and NBA.

Ice Cube is not asking to be an owner of NBA team but he is asking for support of his league that is made up of mostly former NBA players. He has produced a good product and show his league can survive.

The Big3 league doesn’t interfere with the NBA regular season or playoff schedule. The 2022 championship game averaged 681,000 total viewers, which was up 32 percent from 2021 championship game. It also peaked at 1,019,000 viewers. The NBA could easily broadcast a weekly game during their eight week season on one of their many networks that host NBA games. Their is clearly a market for the league and NBA fans would love to see some of their favorite former stars suit up one last time on NBA TV, ESPN, or TNT.

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