Big3 co-founder Ice Cube knows marketing and has been upfront from the start — his young league needed star power. After a first successful season they got more of it for year two: Amar’e Stoudemire, Nate Robinson, Metta World Peace/Ron Artest, Baron Davis.
Cube has also said from the start that the more former NBA players saw the league, the more they would come around. Name guys would want to compete — players fans will pay to watch.
Gilbert Arenas is one of those guys. And he’s in.
“I think a lot of people watched the first year to try and figure out the speed of it, and when I watched it I was like, ‘Whoosh, they’re really going, they’re really playing basketball.’ So I don’t think I’m trained and prepared for that sport right there,” Arenas said of passing on the league over its first two seasons. “It’s one of those things where I need to train like I’m playing in the NBA again ’cause I’m not gonna let them get the best of me. So I got four and a half months” to get ready for this season.
Also in for this season is Lamar Odom.
The Big3 is growing, expanding to 12 teams for the upcoming season and now playing on two nights per week, with 18 total stops on the tour. Lisa Leslie — the four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time WNBA MVP — is joining the BIG3 as coach of the new expansion team Triplets. There has been demand at the gate, but the Big3 lost its television deal with Fox Sports and now is looking for a new television partner.