LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Big3, the 3-on-3 league that’s the brainchild of rapper Ice Cube, will make a stop in Lexington on Sunday, but without one of its marquee players.
Allen Iverson is suspended for Sunday’s game after the Hall of Famer failed to show up for the league’s games in Dallas last week.
Big3 Commissioner Roger Mason, Jr. made the announcement during Wednesday’s weekly teleconference, as the league readies for its first appearance at Rupp Arena.
“We talked about holding up the legitimacy of the league and he knows that him not showing up hurts us,” Ice Cube said. “Who’s happy to be suspended? Nobody. But he understands that it’s a necessary step in the development of the BIG3 who don’t believe what we’re doing and what we’re going to do in the future.”
“Our league is bigger than one man, and we’ve got Hall-of-Famers, champions, All-Stars, first-round picks, and we have to think about them. He understands that.”
League co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz confirmed Iverson won’t be in Lexington.
“He’s a star, and — of course we want all our players to be there. Things happen in sports, and this isn’t the first sport that had someone suspended or missing a game.”
Iverson plays and coaches 3’s Company. Kwatinetz doesn’t think the player’s absence will hurt ticket sales. Kwatinetz said Lexington has been on the league’s radar.
“We took a chance on some cities, like Tulsa, like Lexington, even Vegas that are not normal big NBA cities. We had reasons for each one,” he said. “We always said that we wanted to mix it up and give different kinds of fans every year access to the games.”
Players with UK and Lexington connections are expected to attend the four games on Sunday. Rajon Rondo and Rex Chapman have expressed an interest, as has former Bryan Station guard Shelvin Mack, who now plays with the Magic.
Kentucky coach John Calipari has tweeted about the games, but according to league organizers, will not attend.