The BIG3 is entering its final week of the season, with the championship game set for Friday night in Brooklyn. While Power and 3’s Company will square off for the chance to be the second BIG3 champs, the talk of the BIG3 of late has been about their third season in 2019.
It’s no secret that Ice Cube and company want to bring in more former NBA stars and elevate the league’s profile. The BIG3 hopes to woo some legit marquee names for their third season, with Ice Cube having mentioned a number of targets for next year, none bigger than Kobe Bryant.
Cube has been relentless in his quest to bring the Black Mamba to the BIG3, but Kobe has shut him down every time. That won’t stop him from trying, but few have thought Kobe joining the league was realistic. And then came Tuesday’s conference call featuring Ice Cube and league co-owner Jeff Kwatinetz.
The initial report that hit Twitter from the conference call was that Kwatinetz said Kobe would play in the league next year. That turned out to be a misrepresentation of the actual quote, which basically amounted to him saying he heard from “sources” Bryant will be playing for them next year, but that it also could be “nothing.”
That’s definitely not a guarantee and seems more like wishful thinking (and buzz creating) than much else. The BIG3 has lots of reasons to try and speak this into existence, and maybe it will work.
However, until we hear directly from Bryant that he’s joining the league, this seems more like a way to gather buzz for the league and get people talking about the BIG3 than actual news. Kobe seems to be enjoying life away from basketball, and it’s certainly not like he needs the money or platform the league would provide him. The opposite is more the case, as the BIG3 could very much use a star attraction, as this season has seen the league that is filled with talented players not take the leap they were hoping for into the basketball fan’s normal viewing schedule.
UPDATE: Well that didn’t last long at all! The chief marketing officer of Kobe, Inc. shut down that rumor before it could even go anywhere.