Ice Cube has been seeing success with his 3-on-3 basketball league BIG3 since announcing its launch earlier this year. Now, he’s facing a major lawsuit.
According to the New York Daily News, the league has been hit with a $250 million lawsuit for allegedly “poaching players and proprietary ideas” from the Champion Basketball League, which launched three years ago.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday (Sept. 1), claims Ice Cube and BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz originally discussed the idea of working with CBL founder Carl George to create a league that could one day rival the NBA. Instead, Cube and Kwatinetz went on to do it themselves, launching BIG3.
The CBL says they recruited “at least 20 players,” but chose not to sign them to exclusive contracts, so they could also compete in the BIG3. After, Cube and Kwatinetz allegedly turned around and inked those same players to exclusive deals.
“When certain players expressed their desire to participate in the CBL games, Mr. Cube confronted the players personally about playing in the CBL and threatened the players that they would be fined, not allowed to participate in the 52% of revenues bonus pool, or replaced on their teams,” the lawsuit claims. “These threats were also shared with the CBL.”
The BIG3 debuted on FS1 with strong viewership of 400,000. However, they’ve struggled to maintain those numbers. In mid-July, a delayed airing of that week’s contest garnered just 148,000 viewers.