With Ballers, after their successful career in their respective sports, many sign on as a coach or an on-air personality to stay within the atmosphere. Some ballers, however, choose to stay back and watch from a distance, as the idea of returning to the game as a coach may not be their idea of an enjoyable retirement.
Earlier this month, Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz founded the BIG3, a 3-on-3 half-court style pro-league for retired ballers to continue or revive their basketball career.
“I had been thinking about this for a minute,” Ice Cube said, “but seeing Kobe [Bryant] retire just made me want to kick it into high gear, because I think he’s still got game. I started writing notes down, putting concepts and thoughts down.”
“This started off as a dream. It sucks to see your favorite players retire. It’s a great business opportunity, but as a fan, I’m just excited to see the guys that I know can play at a competitive level… We grew up watching these guys. We’ve seen their ups and downs, we’ve seen them win games and they become part of our everyday life in some ways. And then we look up, and they’re gone. It’s like losing a family friend or a loved one. Ice Cube, I’ve got my heroes, too, and a lot of them play professional basketball.”
The league will be comprised of eight teams with five players each. A few big name former ballers who have signed on as player-coaches are Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, and the Answer, Allen Iverson.
Although Iverson was eager to sign on to coach in the BIG3 league, this is as far as he will go in regards to coaching.
“Hell no!” Iverson told TMZ when asked if there might be a future for him as a coach in the NBA.
When asked why, Iverson replied, “Cause I ain’t coaching no (one) who make more money than me,” he replied. “How…am I gonna tell them anything?”
As for the other retired ballers that will sign on for the BIG3, Iverson has his eye on a few people that he would love to play with.
“I hope he would,” Iverson said about Kobe Bryant joining the 3-on-3 league, “but I know he ain’t. But that would be a dream of mine.”
“I want Shaq to play with me too,” he said. “It won’t go down like that. It would be too easy.”