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Ice Cube, Allen Iverson Launch 3-on-3 Basketball League With Former NBA Players

“Seeing Kobe [Bryant] retire just made me want to kick it into high gear, because I think he’s still got game,” the rapper says

Ice Cube has teamed up with former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz to form BIG3, a new 3-on-3, half-court basketball league that will feature some of the best players to ever play the game.

The BIG3 will begin in June 2017, with a roster that includes NBA veterans Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Gary Payton, Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Lewis, Jason Williams, Bonzi Wells, Mike Bibby and George “The Iceman” Gervin.

Payton and Gervin will serve as coaches, with Iverson serving as a player/coach — the rest are confirmed to play.

“I had been thinking about this for a minute, but seeing Kobe retire just made me want to kick it into high gear, because I think he’s still got game,” the rapper said at a launch event in New York on Wednesday, according to USA Today. “I started writing notes down, putting concepts and thoughts down.”

Regular season games will take place each Saturday from June 24 through Aug. 12 in venues around the country, with playoff games played on Aug. 19 and 26.

“The BIG3 was created as the ultimate basketball fan experience,” Ice Cube (pictured above with Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Roger Mason Jr., Kwatinetz and Rashard Lewis).

“We’re bringing some of the baddest names to ever play the game, and giving them a platform to not only showcase their skills, but to entertain their fans in a high-energy, physical and competitive environment. As a diehard basketball fan, I personally can’t wait to see my favorite players back in action.”

“It sucks to see your favorite players retire,” Ice Cube said. “It’s a great business opportunity, but as a fan, I’m just excited to see the guys that I know can play at a competitive level, and I’m happy that I have the right type of partners to be able to set the stage for that.

“We grew up watching these guys. We’ve seen their ups and downs, we’ve seen them win games and they become part of our everyday life in some ways. And then we look up, and they’re gone. It’s like losing a family friend or a loved one … I’ve got my heroes, too, and a lot of them play professional basketball.”