Days after former BIG3 commissioner Roger Mason was fired for cause amid corruption allegations, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league has found itself a new head honcho: National Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler.
BIG3, which will play its second season this summer, announced Thursday that Drexler has signed a three-year deal to run the nascent league.
BREAKING NEWS ? We're ecstatic to announce the legendary Clyde Drexler as Commissioner of the BIG3! pic.twitter.com/PKE3UdIEPA
— BIG3 (@thebig3) March 15, 2018
Drexler’s hiring comes after Mason’s exit led to a war of words between the league and its former commish. BIG3 claimed Mason was accepting bribes from foreign investors. Mason said the league’s work environment was “hostile and racist” and that co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz had led a smear campaign against him and also “repeatedly referred to black athletes as ‘rich n——.'”
From a brand-name perspective, Drexler is certainly a step up from Mason. While Mason enjoyed a productive 10-year NBA run, Drexler is an all-time great. The former Blazers star reached 10 All-Star games in a 15-year career, was named one of the league’s 50 greatest players ever and earned Hall-of-Fame induction in 2004. Drexler has mostly laid low since his retirement, aside from a brief stint as the University of Houston’s men’s basketball coach, but remains a household name.
The BIG3 has been a relative success to this point, drawing solid viewership on Fox during its inaugural season, despite its broadcasts being tape-delayed. This coming summer, Fox and FS1 will air the tournament again, this time live.
One of Drexler’s first jobs as commissioner, we presume, will be to continue loading up the league with big-name talent. Amar’e Stoudemire, Drew Gooden, Carlos Boozer, Nate Robinson, Glen Davis, Baron Davis and Metta World Peace have all reportedly signed on to join holdovers from last year’s player pool. The league’s first season featured numerous former NBA stars including Allen Iverson, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Corey Maggette, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and Jermaine O’Neal.