Ice Cube was hit with a $250 million lawsuit for allegedly poaching players — and ideas — from the newly formed Champion Basketball League for his BIG3 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.
CBL and BIG3 originally teamed up as partners with the goal of creating a mutually-beneficial business startup that one day would compete with the National Basketball Association, George’s lawsuit contends.
CBL recruited former NBA players whose talents went to waste due to team salary cap restrictions. But they did not sign exclusive contracts, partly so their outside activities could help promote the nascent organization.
That allowed them to play for the former N.W.A. front man on the side. But then BIG3, in a backstabbing move, signed them to exclusive deals and broke the terms of the agreement through a series of flagrant fouls.
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.
“The BIG3 was aware that it signed at least 20 players who also signed contracts with the CBL,” the papers said.
Fan favorites like Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups were part of Ice Cube’s widely-promoted BIG3.
Ice Cube’s reps and attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.