Ice Cube has been in the news lately after announcing his “F**k The Gatekeepers Podcast Tour.” He exclusively sat down with Taylor Bickham from The Shade Room to discuss why he feels the National Basketball League (NBA) is responsible for trying to stop the Big3 League from growing.
He says their alleged actions hurt the players, coaches, and families who depend on Big3 during the summer.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) June 25, 2023
Ice Cube Claims Big3 Is Better In Ratings But Gets Less Coverage
Taylor Bickham: About four to five days ago, you made a post on your page about gatekeeping. Was that gatekeeping in sports and entertainment or just period?
Ice Cube: “Well, I am dealing with sports and entertainment at this moment. This is not my project. The Big3 is not a project. It’s a league for everybody. Anybody that is bored with summer sports…This is a league for you. So, I am putting this on for the culture so to speak. Not only for our culture but the sports culture. And, the summer sports are wack. So, when you’re trying to do that and you have mainstream outlets, sports outlets, basically ignoring what you’re doing. Now, people might be like “Cube, it’s Big3… it’s new.” Whatever. But if you’re looking at the ratings. If you’re really looking at our ratings compared to other sports that get attention, we do better than NHL. We do better than major league soccer in ratings, but we get no coverage. The reason we don’t get coverage is not because they don’t want to cover us. It’s because they’ve been told not to cover us.”
Taylor Bickham: By who?
IC: “We believe it’s the corporate suits in the NBA. We’ve been told that.”
Cube Says An NBA Owner Can Invest In Everything Except The Big3
Taylor B.: I guess they would consider you a competitor at this point.
Ice Cube: “I am pretty sure they do. But we’re not. I am pretty sure they do. And, regardless if we’re a competitor or not, what does ESPN got to do with that? What does mainstream sports media got to do with whether the NBA is competing with us or not? They should be covering sports. How you gone be the worldwide leader in sports and you’re covering drone races and sh*t. I don’t want to diss nobody with their drones. Don’t get me wrong all the drone people sit the f**k back but I’m just saying you’re covering these odd sports but you won’t cover Dr. J winning the game as a coach. Or, you won’t cover Joe Johnson going for 30. These are not nobodies.”
Taylor Bickham: Yeah, they are very respected people.
Ice Cube: In the game of basketball. It just shows what they are all about. And the NBA does have that power over sports media and we are seeing them use this against us. They want to cover us. That’s the thing. They are told not to. NBA players want to talk about us. When I say we have an issue with the NBA, it’s not the players. They players love us. Owners love us. A lot of owners want to invest in the league, but there is a bylaw they are holding us to. But they don’t hold no other league to. They say you can’t invest in a competitive league. Okay.. but they are investing in TBT and slam ball. You can invest in pickleball. A NBA owner can invest in the NFL, major league baseball… they can invest in soccer, Nascar, pickleball, lacrosse, whatever.. Only league they can’t invest in is…
Taylor B.: …the Big3?
Ice Cube: “Now, you tell me. Is it the shoes? What’s wrong with The Big3? Why can’t they invest in The Big 3? And, they want to. Big owners.. Big names.. Name them all. I’ll say most of them are really interested in investing in The Big3, and have told us that throughout these six years. So, we think it’s bullsh*t that they got this on us, but they don’t have it on any other league, and that’s why I’m speaking out. That’s gatekeeper sh*t to me.”
Ice Cube Says He Denied The NBA’s Request For “Total Control” Of The Summer League
Taylor Bickham: Have you ever tried to meet with them?
Ice Cube: “Yeah, we met with them. We met with them before we even started. We actually tried to give them a percentage of the league for free.”
Taylor B.: They said no?
Ice Cube: “They said no. We don’t want it. They said if we had it, we would have to run it. And, I’m like no because y’all wouldn’t know what y’all were doing with this.”
Taylor Bickham: So, they would only take [the percentage] if they had control?
Ice Cube: “They would only take it if they had total control. We weren’t doing that because like I said if they knew how to do this they would have did it 30 years ago. You know what I’m saying? We know how to do this. So, we left the meeting and it was cool and they were like good luck, “The more basketball the merrier”. All that sh*t they was talking. And, ever since the league really started get rolling. They thought it was gonna be some bullsh*t to be honest. They just thought it was going to be some weak a*s sh*t that wasn’t professional.. that wasn’t visibly next level.”
Taylor Bickham: You mentioned before that it’s not a project. Has someone told you that before?
Ice Cube: “No, nobody has ever told me that. But, I’m just saying people may look at it like that. Like.. that’s just something Cube doing. But, I’m not doing it for me. It’s like a movie. I don’t do them so I watch them. I do them for everybody else to enjoy. It’s the same thing. Same with music. Same with TV, like when I do Hip Hop Squares, or whatever. It’s for the people. This is another thing for the people. So, for me when they deny The Big3. They are denying everybody. It’s like The Friday situation. They got the power within each other to hold stuff back or let things grow, and they are using it against The Big3. Look, we are prevailing without it but why should we just suffer in silence. Why should we not let people know what’s being done from the NBA office. Players love us. GMs come to the game. Coaches… Owners.. Everybody like us and love us except Adam Silver and Mark Tatum. Them two… they are the ones that have it out for us, and they talk all that sh*t. You know they put Black Lives Matter on the court, but how do you feel in your heart? F**k the court. We don’t need that bullsh*t. How do you feel about us in your heart because you’re trying to squash the only Black league in America. Why?”
Ice Cube Says Players And Coaches That Depend On His League Are Hurting
Taylor Bickham: And it doesn’t compete with the season time. I don’t really get it.
Ice Cube: “It don’t make crazy man sense. You know what I’m saying? If you can’t even make crazy man sense you way out there. It’s something else. You know what I mean? And, look! They may think f**k Ice Cube. We gone get his a*s. They ain’t getting me. You know what I’m saying? Who they getting? “Iceman” George Gervin, Rick Barry, Gary Payton, Stephen Jackson, Nancy Lieberman, Lisa Leslie.. That’s who they getting. They getting the players and the coaches, and the people that depend on the Big3 to have a little more change in their pocket in the summer. And, they are depriving a lot of athletes who they don’t have no room for them. They don’t have no place for these dudes to go or play. So, they throw them out and if you haven’t had a big enough name, you’re just done. And, so these guys are playing all over the world and overseas. They deserve to be able to play at home in front of their own family and friends.”
“When was the last time you seen a Puerto Rican basketball game? Chinese basketball game? It gets no coverage here. Nobody gets a chance to see them play. Nobody even know they playing. You know but in the Big3 you do because we are on CBS nationwide, and they get opportunities off of being in The Big3, so when they are not playing, they do get contracts to go to other places. Some guys that nobody might have seen or known are now getting opportunities. Our coaches are getting commercials and back in the spotlight stuff. So, it’s really important that the league survives and the NBA is crushing not only the people I mentioned, but all the people that eat off the league. We feed a lot of people with the league just by coming here. It’s jobs in Dallas that people are getting paid who live here that are going to help us in the American Airlines Center on Saturday.”
“It’s more than me. It’s like they crush it or keep doing what they are doing and not let it flourish but Imma be fine. I pay all these people, so obviously I got the means to do that, and I will just go and continue to do what I’m doing, and those people will be without a job and livelihood, and money that they need. I just want people [to know] when I say this is a “F**k The Gatekeepers Podcast Tour.” This is testimony. People think I’m about to go and mention some motherf****r this one and that one, and conspiracy theories. No, I’m telling you what I know about. What’s going on with me. Now the key is. Who is your gatekeeper? That what we all gotta find out. Who is a gatekeeping you from your life, and those are the people that we got to keep them out the way, and get those keys out their hand.”
Ice Cube Talks First Stop On His “F—- The Gatekeepers Podcast Tour”
Speaking with The Shade Room is one of many stops on Ice Cube’s “F**k The Gatekeepers Podcast Tour.”
His first stop was an interview with Joe Rogan–during which when he first accused NBA Commissioner Adam Silver of being one of his gatekeepers and hindering The Big3 from flourishing.
At the time this article was published, NBA reps have not publicly reacted to Ice Cube’s accusations.