United States Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the possibility that the NBA engaged in an intentional effort to tank the Big3 basketball league founded by none other than West Coast Hip Hip icon Ice Cube.
According to TMZ, the inquiry into allegations that the NBA used its power to curb the growth and progress of the much smaller league was actually launched months ago. Basically, the pro league is accused of pressuring sponsors, investors, TV networks, players and even referees from getting involved with Big3, which is basically David to the NBA’s Goliath and was never very likely to produce even remote competition for the multi-billion dollar basketball league.
Again, if these allegations are true, it’s a lot of effort to go through for an established league that generates billions in revenue and already has other, much smaller leagues to “compete” with that it hasn’t been accused of trying to kill. Still, sources told TMZ that Cube and his BIG3 co-founder, Jeff Kwatinetz, met with DOJ attorneys earlier this year, and that those lawyers have reached out to NBA officials as part of the investigation, which indicates that the inquiry is being taken pretty seriously.
In response to the allegations, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told TMZ that the “claims are not true,” and that the NBA has actually “been supportive of the Big3 since its inception, but we declined to invest.” Cube appeared to dispute that part on X Tuesday saying, “BIG3 never asked the NBA to invest, we just want them to stop pressuring individuals and corporations not to invest in the BIG3.”