Why is Ice Cube mad at the NBA? Gatekeeper rant explained as rapper addresses Big3 situation

BIG3 - Week Six
Ice Cube performing at the BIG3 - Week Six in 2021.

Big3 founder Ice Cube recently went on social media to rant about "gatekeepers" ahead of the league's 2023 season-opening over the weekend. The rapper was unhappy with the NBA and media for not helping Big3 grow despite having former players and Hall of Famers.

In a video posted on Twitter, Ice Cube went off on the biggest basketball league in the world. He called out the NBA and the media for not doing their part in helping the Big3 get the exposure they need. The 3x3 league plays during the offseason, but they have no partnership with the NBA.

"Some of you may not have realized that I’m not part of the club," the rapper said. "And a lot of you listening to me right here and right now, you are not part of the club either. And what I realized with the club is, what makes them so mad is when you don’t want to be a part of they f***ing club. That pisses them off."

He added:

"I don't give a f*ck about working with the NBA. What I want them to do, when I say 'work with us,' is to stop working against us. Stop doing that bullsh*t behind the scenes.
"Mainstream media, you know, they ain't f***ing with us, and that's cool. We can do it ourselves. We still on the rise without these motherf***ers. We don't need them. You don't need them."

Big3 is in its seventh year already, but they only have a broadcast contract with CBS until the end of the season. They launched Big3tv, but that won't be enough to get the exposure the league needs.

Ice Cube's rant also came a few days after he blamed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for not liking the Big3 on The Dan La Betard Show. The Big3 has a lot of ties with the NBA, as most of their players were in the league. Most of the coaches are legends and Hall of Famers.

With the NBA having its offseason in the summer, hoops fans likely want an alternative to watch besides the WNBA. Big3 has the potential to be exactly that, but it won't get much bigger without the exposure to reach audiences.

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Ice Cube's Big3 schedule for 2023 season

Ice Cube of the Big3
Ice Cube of the Big3

The 2023 Big3 season started over the weekend in Chicago, Illinois. The regular season is eight weeks long with stops in cities like Dallas, New York, Memphis, Miami, Boston, Charlotte and Detroit. The playoffs will be held in Washington D.C., and the championship game will be at The O2 Arena in London, England.

Trilogy, coached by Stephen Jackson, are the defending back-to-back champions. They're looking for the first three-peat in Big3 history and fourth title overall. Their roster consists of five players, four of whom played in the NBA — Amir Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe, James White and Earl Clark.

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