The NBA is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice over the professional basketball league’s suspected interference with Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league.
According to TMZ Sports, the DOJ is looking into allegations that the NBA has attempted to undercut the success and expansion of the BIG3 by using its power and influence to stop potential sponsors, television networks, NBA players and referees from working with the league.
The source claims the NBA is said to have implemented rules barring current players in the league from participating in the BIG3, although many NBA stars play in various summer and international leagues during the offseason. The NBA has allegedly used similar tactics in dissuading referees from officiating BIG3 games, although they are allowed to work in other leagues.
While BIG3 cofounders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz believe the league is being “unfairly targeted by the NBA,” Mike Bass, a spokesperson for the NBA, has refuted those accusations as being untrue. “We have been supportive of the Big3 since its inception, but we declined to invest,” Bass said of the NBA’s dealings concerning the BIG3. If the NBA is found guilty of violating antitrust laws, the league will be subjected to a penalty and will be ordered to pay a massive fine.
“Ever since I put out the contract with Black America, you know they been f**king with me. Here and there, this and that,” the West Coast legend said back in June. “But it’s cool, you know, I expect that. You know I’ve been working on the BIG3 for a long time and you know how they’ve been f**king with me. I’ve done made it plain, simple and clear what they’ve been doing. The NBA’s been f**king with us.”
While Cube had initially attempted to include the NBA in the BIG3’s plans, he has since moved on and has no further desire to work with the league. “Really, I don’t give a f**k about working with the NBA” he added. “What I want them to do, when I say ‘work with us,’ is to stop working against us… We can do it ourselves. We still on the rise without these motherf**kers. We don’t need them, you don’t need them.
The BIG3 recently completed its sixth season since launching in 2017, which yielded a significant rise in the league’s viewership ratings.
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