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Ice Cube’s Big3 sued for allegedly stealing ideas, players

Ice Cube

In this June 20, 2017 photo, rapper and actor Ice Cube poses for a portrait in New York to promote the 25th anniversary re-release of his 1991 solo album, “Death Certificate.” (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)

Amy Sussman/Invision/AP

The Big3 just finished its first season, and it drew some big names to coach and play (Allen Iverson, Dr. J), good crowds (about 11,000 a day), and the television ratings were successful enough that Fox renewed for a second season. For Ice Cube’s League it was a good year.

Now he and the Big3 are being sued by the Champions League for allegedly stealing ideas and players. The New York Post has the story.

Ice Cube was slapped with a $250 million lawsuit on Friday for supposedly poaching hoops stars — and proprietary ideas — from the newly formed Champion Basketball League...

CBL’s founder, Carl George, says the legendary rapper and actor, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, and BIG3’s co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, got close to CBL brass and players only to steal their ideas and goods after their 2014 launch....

The suit claims that “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,” court papers claimed. “These threats were also shared with the CBL.

Ice Cube and the Big3 league have yet to comment. Although we can safely assume they will deny the charges and any wrongdoing.

The Championship Basketball League did not play games in 2017.

The Champions Basketball League tried to follow a more traditional format — 5-on-5 games (vs. 3-on-3 from the Big3) and the CBL has a team in each city as opposed to the barnstorming tour used by the Big3. However, both leagues focus on drawing in fans with former NBA players, and having the league run during the (relatively) slow part of the summer for the NBA.

The Big3 got far more notoriety and had more success than the CBL ever did, how much that played into this lawsuit will be up to the courts to decide.