Ice Cube's stance on offering multi-million dollar Big3 deals to rookies: Insights revealed

The Big3 Basketball League and Caitlin Clark’s Decision
66th GRAMMY Awards - Special Merit Awards Ceremony & 66th Annual GRAMMY Nominees Reception
66th GRAMMY Awards - Special Merit Awards Ceremony & 66th Annual GRAMMY Nominees Reception / Emma McIntyre/GettyImages

O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson has the Midas touch, and his success extends to the world of sports. His Big3 basketball league is not only a passion project but also a highly profitable venture. In a recent groundbreaking deal, the league sold its first franchise for an astounding $10,000,000. However, the impact of the Big3 goes beyond financial gains; it has also played a pivotal role in elevating the status and value of women's basketball.

In March, Ice Cube made headlines when he offered the No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick, Caitlin Clark, a jaw-dropping $10 million to play in his league. Initially reported to be a $5 million offer, it was an unprecedented deal. However, Caitlin ultimately declined the opportunity, choosing instead to join the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. Her decision surprised many, as she claimed she didn’t know much about the Big3 offer. In her own words,

" To be honest, I found out about the BIG3 thing at the exact time you all did, and my main focus is on just playing basketball. I honestly don’t talk about those things with really anybody. I have other people that deal with it, and they haven’t said a word to me about it."

Following Caitlin’s decision, Ice Cube posted a statement on behalf of the 3-on-3 league, criticizing what he called the “NBA Mob” for deterring Caitlin from accepting the hefty offer. The league believed that male agents and executives controlling the sport failed to share the trailblazing offer with Caitlin or facilitate a meeting to discuss the opportunity.

Ice Cube addressed whether he would ever offer another rare deal like Caitlin’s to a rookie athlete. His response was cautious yet intriguing:

"I don’t know. It’s a unique situation. Her impact on the ratings is something that’s undeniable. She was doing better ratings than the NBA. As a league, you want that kind of star power. It would raise the bar for everybody. If another player comes along with that kind of impact, of course, we would go after them."

Ice Cube emphasized the advantages of Caitlin’s skills, stating,

"It’s something that our sponsors and everybody was looking at, and if we would’ve landed her, it would have meant the league could’ve collected more dollars from all our partners and sponsors. It would’ve been a big win for the whole league."

Despite the Big3’s generous offer, Caitlin’s new annual salary in the WNBA was revealed to be significantly lower—merely a fraction of the millions Cube had put on the table. Reportedly, Caitlin will make $338,056 over her four-year contract. Unfortunately, the Indiana Fever has struggled in the WNBA preseason, securing only one win against the Atlanta Dream. In the regular season, they have yet to secure a victory.

In summary, Ice Cube’s bold offer to Caitlin Clark showcased the Big3’s commitment to elevating women’s basketball. While Caitlin chose a different path, her impact on the league’s ratings and potential revenue remains undeniable. Whether another rookie athlete will receive a similar offer remains to be seen, but the Big3’s willingness to pursue star power continues to shape the landscape of professional basketball.