Ice Cube was incredibly successful with his BIG3 League during the NBA offseason. Now we’re learning that success could cost him a lot of money. As the new basketball league was finishing up their first season, they also got hit with a huge lawsuit.
On Friday, Carl George filed a lawsuit against Ice Cube and his BIG3 League. He claims that the former rapper turned actor turned basketball league owner is not very original. He believes that Ice Cube got most of his ideas and a lot of talent from the Champion Basketball League.
In the lawsuit, the CBL founder claims that Ice Cube and BIG3 founder Jeff Kwatinetz cozied up to executives at CBL and then took their ideas. George claims in the lawsuit that initially, the CBL and BIG3 leagues were going to be partners. After the 2014 launch of CBL, he says that many of the lesser know league’s proprietary ideas were stolen and that the BIG3 had poached a lot of their talent according to the New York Daily News.
When the CBL came onto the scene, they recruited many former NBA players who still wanted to play on a competitive level. It seems that their biggest mistake was that they didn’t sign their players to exclusive contracts.
Along came Ice Cube and the BIG3, who picked up many of the same players. They were a bit more shrewd when it came to doing business, though, and made the players sign exclusive contracts.
When it came time to go play for the CBL again, many of the players wanted back in. That’s when Ice Cube reportedly reminded his players of their exclusivity to the BIG3.
According to the lawsuit, some players who share their desire to play for the other league were confronted by Ice Cube. He reportedly threatened to wage fines against them and disqualify them from receiving their portion of the bonus for playing in his league. It was even reported that Cube offered to replace some of the players who wanted to violate their exclusive contracts.
The first season of the BIG3 was a huge success. The first title game was played on August 26, which also marked the end of their first season.
There have been reports that Ice Cube will be bringing the BIG3 back again for another season next year. There’s no telling how this lawsuit might affect those plans.
[Featured Image by Sam Wasson/BIG3/Getty Images]