Former NBA legend Allen Iverson is joining Ice Cube‘s three-on-three basketball league, which features an array of retired league stars. The 41-year-old point guard will serve as a player-coach in the actor-rapper’s newly established BIG3, which launches this summer, The Vertical reports.
Iverson – who played 14 seasons in the NBA, most of which for the Philadelphia 76ers – announced his association with BIG3 during a press conference on Wednesday. “When I got the call, it was a no brainer,” he said, paying respect to Ice Cube. “That’s O’Shea [Jackson]. You don’t turn that down … I just wanted to be a part of it, and I hope me being a part of it makes it a success.”
Allen Iverson announced as a player/coach for Ice Cube’s new professional 3-on-3 league at the Sheraton, a few blocks over from Trump Tower. pic.twitter.com/5UZpaNq7E8
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) January 11, 2017
The NBA’s 2001 MVP, who was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame last year, also expressed hopes that BIG3 would “go on and on” and become an important part of basketball culture. Other retired NBA greats signed with BIG3 include Gary Payton, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Jason Williams, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal.
BIG3, which is expected to begin touring in June, will present half-court three-on-three games. Ice Cube announced the league last month, telling The Vertical that he was “sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore.”
“A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights,” he said. “I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’ It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?'”