NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Fame basketball player Clyde Drexler is the new commissioner of the Big3 league.
Drexler coached a team last year in the inaugural season of Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players. He’s signed a three-year deal as commissioner, the Big3 announced Thursday.
He replaces former NBA player Roger Mason Jr., who left following a dispute with the league that included allegations of corruption and racism. Mason denied those charges in a statement to NBC Sports.
“I was terminated by BIG3 in retaliation for legal claims which I made last week in a letter sent by my attorneys to BIG3 Basketball alleging that the League had breached my employment agreement,” Mason said. “The violations of my agreement centered around BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, who has been engaged in a malicious, defamatory campaign of disparaging me in an attempt to prevent me from the performance of contractual duties and responsibilities. He has made countless unfounded attacks on my integrity, character, and leadership….
“I am proud of the role I took in taking BIG3 from when it was merely a concept and transformed it into a successful basketball organization. I am disappointed at the conduct of Ice Cube and other executives of BIG3 in levelling these desperate manufactured claims against me. It will not derail the success of my legitimate claims against the League.”
Drexler starred for the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets during his 15-year career, winning a gold medal with the 1992 U.S. Olympic team.
He says the level of play and professionalism last season “far exceeded anything that many of us involved ever imagined.” He adds he looks forward to working with Cube and Kwatinetz to continue the league’s growth.