Ice Cube stopped in the 710 ESPN Seattle studio Thursday and joined “Bob, Groz and Tom” to talk about his BIG3 basketball league, the NBA in Seattle, Colin Kaepernick and kneeling for the anthem, and the return of the NFL to Los Angeles.
Here are a few highlights:
On the NBA in Seattle: “Look, we feel like if we fill up that arena, that the NBA gotta take notice, bring a team back to Seattle. And look, the Clippers, we’re selling those for cheap. You want the Clippers, you can have them. We’ll give away the Clippers, and if you take the Chargers, then that’s a deal.”
On BIG3 Basketball Presents: Seattle, at KeyArena on Sunday: “It’s been great. For a first-year league, you usually don’t get this kind of attention, you usually don’t get a TV deal like this, so it’s just been great to see this dream come true, everybody’s buying into it. And it’s incredible basketball, it’s what we subconsciously want. Because we grew up playing three-on-three basketball, so we know what it looks like, we know what it’s supposed to look like. We miss those days where the paint meant something, where you had to earn your buckets in the paint, don’t come in here if you’re soft and all that kind of stuff, and that’s what the BIG3 brings. It brings that hard-nosed basketball that we grew up on, but it also has innovations… it’s to me a great concept, a great game, and it’s fun.”
On getting players to join the league: “It was a mixed reaction… but when they really saw what we had, we showed them our deck, and they saw what we were planning and they wanted to play. Ultimately, they’re ballers who are looking for a game, and they’re sick of playing in the Pro-Am kind of things that’s going around in the summer, where they get 35 points a serve, 35 points to Johnny the Plumber, you know what I mean? And they don’t feel proud. Could Ricky Davis really feel proud about giving a 40-burger to Jimmy the Plumber? You know what I’m saying? No. They want to play with their peers, they want to play with their friends, they want to talk mess with the guys they used to talk mess with in the league… so it’s that fun, and you feel it, and it’s great.”
On the beginnings of the BIG3: “A lot of people when we first started, they was asking me stuff like ‘Can they still dunk?’ and ‘Are you guys gonna lower the rim for them?’ and all this kinda dumb stuff, and I’m like, ‘Man, come on, ya’ll.’ So I knew what we had. I knew when we did our combine and when we did our practice games … I was like ‘We’ve got something here.’ And the thing is, this year is great; but if you have vision, just think of what the future can be when guys step straight off the NBA court onto a BIG3 court, and they’re still giving them the business.”
On Colin Kaepernick and kneeling for the anthem: “The great thing about being in America, you can do what you want to do when it comes to that. I think we’re getting lost with what he was sitting down for, and it was to protest police brutality. And that’s still an issue that we still gotta protest. And I just think, as usual, we’re dealing with a symptom and not dealing with the real disease… we always get caught on these hangnails that take us away from the real topic at hand. And do you really give a damn if he sits or stands? I mean, actually think about it in your heart: do you really give a damn? It ain’t about what he does, it’s about what you do. Do you stand, or do you sit? And that’s the beauty about being here.”
The NFL in LA: “People are very excited. Especially about the Rams. And I don’t know how people feel about the Chargers – yes I do, they don’t want the Chargers, that was a mistake… so it’s cool, I believe LA wished we got the Raiders because it’s a Raider town, and if the Rams win it’ll be great and if they don’t win people will yawn and be like ‘Oh, should’ve stayed where you was at.’”
For more information on BIG3 Basketball Presents: Seattle, visit the KeyArena official website.