Ice Cube's Big3 basketball league was reportedly a target of alleged anticompetitive behavior by the NBA.
According to a report TMZ published on Tuesday, October 24, the United States Department of Justice opened an inquiry into allegations that the National Basketball League attempted to stunt the Big3's growth. The NBA is accused of using its dominance to prevent sponsors and other potential partners from working with Cube's league. They also allegedly intervened with TV broadcasters' attempts to show the games on their networks and barred from playing due to rules set up by the NBA.
"Those claims are not true," NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told TMZ. "We have been supportive of the Big3 since its inception, but we declined to invest."
Big3 official claim that they've been unfairly targeted by the NBA. The respective leagues do not overlap each other, and some major players in the NBA have reportedly expressed interest in participating. It's normal for NBA player to participate in other leagues during the offseason like the Drew League in Los Angeles. However, its been virtually impossible for players to join in on the Big3's games, referees to work the games, and owners to invest in the league, especially if they simultaneously own an NBA team.
Cube and Kwatinetz met with DOJ lawyers earlier this year as part of the investigation, and some NBA owners have also been contacted to participate. If there were any antitrust violations committed, the NBA will face a hefty fine.