Ice Cube’s Big3 Files Defamation Countersuit Against Champions Basketball League

After the fledgling Champions Basketball League filed a $250 million lawsuit against the competing Big3 league for allegedly “poaching players and proprietary ideas,” the Big3 has fired back with its own legal action. The semi-pro, three-on-three league founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz filed a defamation lawsuit against the CBL Friday.

The friction appears to stem from participating players’ ability to play in both leagues, among other issues. In the original CBL suit, league officials claimed the Big3 defrauded them because players who participated in Big3 games were not allowed to also play in the CBL. The CBL alleged they were not allowed to start the season on time because players who previously agreed to play in both leagues were not allowed to do so by the Big3.

In a copy of the suit obtained by Deadspin, lawyers for the Big3 take issue with both the allegation of an agreement between the two leagues and Champions Basketball League CEO Carl George.

“In fact (1) there was never any agreement between the Big3 and the Champions League,” the suit reads in part. “The approximately three players who informed the Big3 of a prior dealing with the Champions League were permitted through an express provision in their contracts to have a non-exclusive relationship with the Big3.”

On August 26, the Big3 held an inaugural championship game in Las Vegas. At press time, the Champions Basketball League had yet again postponed a nebulous, projected launch date of the “summer of 2016.”

While the nuts and bolts of proving actual malice to a jury isn’t the most riveting read, the suit does reveal some potential news about the ever-growing crossover of sports and music.

The countersuit claims Champions League CEO George Carl wrote a letter to an unnamed recording artist claiming Snoop Dogg was the official CBL “celebrity commish,” and stars such as DJ Khaled, Floyd Mayweather and Tom Brady were directly affiliated with the league in some capacity.

You can view the entire lawsuit and read the full report at Deadspin

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Ice Cube’s Big3 Faces $250 Million Lawsuit for Allegedly Stealing Players and Ideas From Similar League

The New York Daily News is reporting that Ice Cube and his basketball league the Big3 have been hit with a $250 million lawsuit for allegedly “poaching players and proprietary ideas” from the Champion Basketball League which formed just three years ago. According to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, CBL founder Carl George claims the rapper, alongside his Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, originally wanted to work together to create something that could one day rival the NBA, but the Big3 swept the rug from right under them. 

After recruiting “at least 20 players,” the CBL nixed the idea of having them sign exclusive contracts, so they could also compete in the Big3. Cube and Kwatinetz supposedly turned around and inked those same players to exclusive deals. “When certain players expressed their desire to participate in the CBL games, Mr. Cube confronted the players personally about playing in the CBL and threatened the players that they would be fined, not allowed to participate in the 52% of revenues bonus pool, or replaced on their teams,” the suit alleges. “These threats were also shared with the CBL.”

Following a successful debut on FS1 where the Big3 averaged 400,000 viewers, the league has struggled to maintain a strong audience. On July 17, the delayed airing of that week's contest amassed just 148,000 viewers. The league will need to find a way to get the numbers back to what they once were if they have any chance of surviving. 

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