With no NCAA March Madness and a suspended NBA season, basketball fans are hungering for action. O’Shea Jackson, better known as rapper/actor Ice Cube, wants to fill the void with his Big3 league, according to Yahoo Sports.
Due to the cancellation and suspension of basketball games throughout the country because of the coronavirus, the Big3 plans to launch a quarantined, reality show-style three-on-three tournament in April. The main purpose is to curb the nation’s appetite for basketball in the aftermath of the coronavirus-driven sports hiatus.
“As long as we can protect the players, which we will do through proper testing and quarantine, Ice cube and I feel we can give fans some safe, entertaining brand of basketball to get everyone through this pandemic,” entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, a cofounder of the Big3 basketball league, told Yahoo Sports.
“Cube and I have been in the entertainment business for 30 years. This is our job. People want to be entertained with all we’re going through and enjoy our sports. We think this will help.”
Ice Cube and Kwatinetz have held discussions with multiple TV networks since last week to broadcast the tournament. The thinking is that with the current crisis showing no signs of abating, the games would garner international interest, sources said. The preseason basketball tournament would most likely feaures 16 to 22 players quarantined in a house with a basketball court in the Los Angeles area. The players would only be accepted after they tested negative for coronavirus.
The premise of the tournament would also be filmed as reality TV. The players would be quarantined in the same Los Angeles mansion, with all activity regarding games, preparation and the players’ daily lives being recorded. There would be seven rounds of games, with teammates reshuffling after the first round. When a player racks up three losses, he is eliminated. Cash prizes totaling millions of dollars will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place individual winners.
As of now, the Big3’s 2020 regular season will start June 20 in Memphis.