big 3

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 11: (L-R) Jeff Kwatinetz, Rashard Lewis, Allen Iverson, Ice Cube, Kenyon Martin, and Roger Mason Jr. attend a press conference announcing the launch of the BIG3, a new, professional 3-on-3 basketball league, on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for BIG3)

*As previously reported, producer, actor and rapper Ice Cube, along with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, is putting together a basketball league for his favorite, but retired, NBA players like Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin.

Cube has officially announced the launch of the BIG3 (www.BIG3.com), a new, 3-on-3, half-court basketball league that will feature some of the best players to ever play the game. Former National Basketball Players Association Deputy Executive Director and NBA player Roger Mason, Jr. will serve as the league’s Commissioner and President, according to a press release.

“The BIG3 was created as the ultimate basketball fan experience,” said Ice Cube. “We’re bringing some of the baddest names to ever play the game, and giving them a platform to not only showcase their skills, but to entertain their fans in a high-energy, physical and competitive environment. As a diehard basketball fan, I personally can’t wait to see my favorite players back in action.”

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big3

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 11: (L-R) Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin; Roger Mason Jr., Jeff Kwatinetz, Ice Cube, and Rashard Lewis attend a press conference announcing the launch of the BIG3, a new, professional 3-on-3 basketball league, on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for BIG3)

The BIG3 will begin in June 2017, and will unite basketball greats and their fans with an entertaining 3-on-3 basketball league played in arenas across the country. The new league will put legendary NBA superstars against one another, in never-before-seen match-ups and team pairings.

Former NBA players who have officially committed to participate include: Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Gary Payton, Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams, Bonzi Wells, Mike Bibby and George “The Iceman” Gervin. Payton and Gervin will serve as coaches, with Iverson serving as a player/coach – the rest are confirmed to play.

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube told The Vertical. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

The BIG3 will comprise eight teams of five players, one head coach and one assistant coach. Regular season games will take place each Saturday from June 24 through August 12, with playoff games played on August 19 and 26. The BIG3 will take place each week in a different arena and city across the country, with all four games happening on the same day in the same venue, creating the excitement of a Final Four or All-Star Game atmosphere.

“Three-on-three basketball is the most played sport in the world. It is a universally beloved form of basketball that truly highlights a player’s technical skill set,” said BIG3 founder Kwatinetz. “The BIG3 will bring our favorite basketball stars to one of the most popular forms of the sport. The league promises to deliver fun, exciting and fast-paced basketball played by some of the game’s most talented players.”

For more information, visit the BIG3 website.