In the Staples Center on April 13th, 2016, it was the final home game for the Lakers regular season and more importantly, Kobe’s final home game of his illustrious 20-year career. Lakers fans gathered around their TVs and phones, and plenty scalped the most expensive ticket of the season to watch one of the greatest ever play one final time. One of those fans was Ice Cube.
A lifelong Lakers fan, Cube was one of the many celebrities who gave some thanks to what Kobe had accomplished.
During a timeout, the jumbotron had a clip of the world renowned hip-hop artist saying “Kobe, baby, give us five more years. Come on, you can do it.”
Bryant scored 60 points and looked like he could indeed play another five years. Of course, at the time, it was all about Kobe for Cube. But, after seeing him score 60 points and then retiring? That made an idea that Cube already had resurface. Ice Cube then called Jeff Kwatinetz, his business partner and long-time friend, to discuss the idea they’d talked about on numerous occasions before: professional 3-on-3 basketball.