Artistry is not a must-have quality for running a basketball league. However, rap legend Ice Cube begs to disagree. In fact, some may not know, but art has been playing a massive role in his famous 3-on-3 professional basketball, Big3. And Cube has been very involved with it.
When Ice Cube founded Big3, he had a vision, a concrete plan focused not only on establishing its entity in the basketball world but also on satisfying the audiences’ eyes. And by that, Cube meant polishing literally everything the viewers will see when they watch Big3 games, be it live or from any device.
In order to achieve it, Cube ensured that he put his fingers in every pie, from the business side to everything involving aesthetics.
“I think drafting gave me a good eye, you know?” Cube told ESPN of his involvement in Big3’s overall aesthetics, including court and team jerseys design in 2017. “The backdrop kind of fades out for most people, but for me, the backdrop catches my eye. I’m always interested in the presentation…Ugly uniforms make me cringe. Bad color combinations on TV -- that’s the worst. That’ll make me turn the game off.”
Cube teamed up with veteran sports designer Todd Radom to ensure they came up with the best results. Radom has been in the industry for years and has designed various professional sports team uniforms, logos, and patches and was responsible for the full identity system of the Los Angeles Angels.
Based on Radom’s assessment, Cube really has that artist in him.
“He’s one of us. He’s totally gets it,” he said of the Big3 founder.
Big3 is no joke
As we all know, Big3 has become a hotbed of aging NBA players who could still hoop but failed to land another contract. While even Cube wouldn’t refute that, he still wants Big3 to be taken seriously.
“I wanted credibility,” he said. “We’re dealing with pro athletes coming from a classic league, the NBA. The goal was to elevate 3-on-3 to a professional stage. So we were doing everything we could to ensure that the product could stand the test of time.”
Big3 has been operating for five years now, and the league’s success speaks volumes about Cube’s repertoire as a league owner. And having learned his contributions to the league’s overall presentation, we now know that everything slick about Big3 has a touch of Cube on it.