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Exclusive with Ice Cube: BIG3 was a hit in Brooklyn

Anthony Puccio was on hand for the BIG3 Tournament at Barclays Center, where he sat down with the leader of the league: Ice Cube.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Sunday was a good day.

It’s all because people in Brooklyn love fun basketball. Just like Kenny Atkinson said: Brooklyn is basketball.

People learned that firsthand at the BIG3 tournament, where retired NBA players formed teams and played four games of 3-on-3 at Barclays Center. It was a fun day. No hostility towards the other teams. Just good ol’ fashion streetball inside a gym.

Maybe not the Brooklyn way. After all it was INSIDE, but there was nowhere better to host it than BKN. In fact, they played in front of a packed house of 15,177 fans at Barclays Center.

“I feel like god helped us get here. It’s an omen to me that we’re here in Brooklyn because it’s our first game and the Barclays Center basically rolled out the red carpet of streetball for us,” Ice Cube, rapper and now BIG3 leader, told NetsDaily. “We wouldn’t be here without the Barclays Center. Just know that, man. They’ve always treated us right and it’s a beautiful relationship. It’s only right that we started here. I’m an L.A. guy and I’m saying that! This is where we supposed to start.”

The day consisted of four games throughout the day – games up to 60 and halftime at 30. It had an intense, streetball-like vibe to the day. Brooklyn’s own Fabolous even performed.

“Take that blacktop off the street and bring it into the arena,” Ice Cube continued. “Where else would you rather be but Brooklyn?”

And he was right. Brooklyn was electric and the place was packed out. As mentioned, people just love to watch basketball and although they’re waaay out of their prime, people love the idea of 3-on-3 basketball.

Cube finds it to be the perfect platform for players to stay in the game after retirement.

“I want to give a viable option for guys when they retire from the NBA or any professional type of basketball. This is a good option for guys to come and extend their playing career a little bit – get in a few extra years without having to go to Europe, without having to go to Asia, without having to go overseas. It’s great to be here.”

Asked if it’s good for them to keep playing, especially if they haven’t found their niche post-basketball. Excited with a big grin, Ice Cube is a firm believer in his product and tries to empathize with the players.

“Yeah it’s good for them. I couldn’t imagine if I was 35 and somebody told me ‘you cant rap anymore, you can’t do anymore movies. You’re done.’ How would I feel? I feel for these dudes.”

All in all, the BIG3 was a success and everybody seemed to have a good time. Some former Nets even participated like Kenyon Martin and DeShawn Stevenson, who was, well, enamored by Barclays Center.

“It’s really f--- dope. It’s fly. It’s fly. It’s a fly arena.”