SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Legendary entertainer Ice Cube has always been a huge basketball fan, and that is how he came up with the idea for the BIG3 basketball tournament, which makes its first stop in Salt Lake City Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
“We thought of this as fans,” Cube said. “Not as this is a great business model. But wouldn’t you want to see these guys? We hear about them playing in these gyms all over the city, all over the country they’re playing each other. Wouldn’t it be great to see them in a league?”
The BIG3 tournament is a half-court 3-on-3 game, featuring a 4-point shot, and first team to 50 points wins. All of the players used to play in the NBA, so the competitive juices are flowing.
“Many of our guys who left the NBA, they have money,” Ice Cube said. “But they don’t have rings, everybody wants a ring. Everybody wants a championship and you can get that in the BIG3.”
There are plenty of big names in the league like former Utah Jazz stars Al Jefferson and Joe Johnson, who leads the league in scoring.
“Joe Johnson is showing why he’s an MVP candidate for our league,” Ice Cube said. “He’s still putting up 22 points a game, and it’s great to see him back in action.”
Now in its third year of existence, it only made sense to bring the BIG3 to Utah.
“It’s the fan base,” Ice Cube said. “We’ve seen the playoffs, we watch the playoffs. We see how excited Utah is about basketball. So, it was a no-brainer.”
There will be three games Saturday night starting at 7:00 p.m.