Ice Cube's BIG3 basketball league has once again shown that there is a market for non-NCAA, non-NBA basketball. The first four weeks of the 2023 season have shown massive growth in terms of TV ratings. Week 1 averaged around 432,000 viewers across CBS and Paramount+. Meanwhile, that figure had risen to 600,000 by Week 4. By comparison, Week 4 of the 2022 season averaged 412,000 viewers.
Additionally, the league has seen strong in-person support during the 2023 season as well. Events in Chicago, Dallas, and New York drew in nearly 30,000 attendees. “Our fans have been eager to get back to experiencing the BIG3 in person,” said league co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz. “Their energy and excitement have been palpable in each city so far.” A major draw has been the musical guests Ice Cube has been able to secure. With the season coinciding with the Hip-Hop 50 celebrations, there has been a lot going on. Ice Cube, Ja Rule, KRS-One, M.O.P., NLE Choppa, Twista, and Scar Lip have all performed during the season's opening weeks.
BIG3 Pushing Even Higher
The BIG3 season will continue to hit up NBA arenas for the rest of July and August. Weeks 5 and 6 will take place in Miami and Boston respectively. Meanwhile, Weeks 7 and 8 will be hosted by Charlotte and Detroit. After the conclusion of the regular season, DC will host the first rounds of the playoffs. Finally, the Championship Game on August 26 will be at the O2 Arena in London, England.
However, it's not all been smooth sailing his season. “Mainstream media, they ain’t fucking with us,” Ice Cube said in a four-minute on Twitter. “And that’s cool, we can do it ourselves, you know what I’m saying? “We still on the rise without these motherfuckers. If we don’t need ’em, you don’t need ’em.” Cube had been taking aim at the NBA, putting the league on blast for not promoting the BIG3. Elsewhere, Cube railed against what he called "gatekeepers" blocking the BIG3 from achieving mainstream success.