Rapper Ice Cube on Wednesday said he has suspended basketball star Allen Iverson from playing in his BIG3 league for one game.
“Well, we talked about holding up the legitimacy of the league and he knows that him not showing up hurts us,” Ice Cube said Wednesday, referencing Iverson missing last Sunday’s BIG3 game in Dallas. “Who’s happy to be suspended? Nobody.
“But [Iverson] understands that it’s a necessary step in the development of the BIG3 [for those] who don’t believe what we’re doing and what we’re going to do in the future,” Cube added during the organization’s weekly teleconference, according to USA Today.
“Our league is bigger than one man, and we’ve got Hall-of-Famers, champions, All-Stars, first-round picks, and we have to think about them. He understands that.”
Some Twitter users on Wednesday expressed surprise that Iverson had been suspended during the BIG3’s first-ever season.
You mean to tell me Allen Iverson got a 1 game suspension from the Big 3 league? We talkin' bout Big 3 League, not the NBA lol...— Gavin C. Brown (@gavin_c_brown) August 2, 2017
Iverson’s suspension reportedly means he will miss the BIG3’s second-to-last game of the regular season this weekend in Lexington, KY.
BIG3 Commission Roger Mason Jr. said during Wednesday’s conference the league expects Iverson to play during its regular season finale in Los Angeles in two weeks.
Cube added that the BIG3 respects Iverson but wants to be taken as a serious professional basketball league.
“We don’t want to a be a league of nostalgia and not a league of competitive basketball,” he said. “Just with the names we have, nostalgia comes with it. But getting these guys to play hard is key.”
“We are thankful and grateful to Allen Iverson for being a part of this league. A lot of people feel like having him be part of this league really got us over a lot of humps.”
The BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz co-founded together last January.
Iverson, who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as both a point and shooting guard, has emerged as one of the young organization’s top stars.
The basketball star did not notify the BIG3 he would miss Sunday’s game in Dallas beforehand, and he has yet to publicly explain his absence.