MIAMI(CBSMiami) – Amy Trask, CEO of Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league, joined The Joe Rose Show on Monday to discuss the league’s TV premiere.
The first four games of the 3-on-3 venture were taped Sunday in front of over 15,000 fans at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The television broadcast each week will be aired on tape delay, with the premiere set for Monday night at 8:00pm ET on Fox Sports 1.
Each of the first two games played on Sunday came down to a final shot. To Trask, the early expectations have been met, if not exceeded.
“It was absolutely exhilarating,” said Trask. “People have embraced this game. The level of competition was just exhilarating.”
The league features former NBA superstars going head to head in half court, 3-on-3 games. The first team to reach sixty points wins, but you must win by more than one point. Four point shots are included as an added wrinkle. Notable players include Allen Iverson, Ricky Davis, Al Harrington, Charles Oakley, Jason Williams, Latrell Sprewell, Jermaine O’Neal and Rashard Lewis. Iverson and Oakley are both player coaches.
Trask pointed out to Rose and co host Zach Krantz that the fun being had on the court was felt by others in attendance.
“A lot of (current) NBA stars came to watch,” Trask noted, “some of them yelling from the sidelines, ‘I wanna play!'” NBA MVP candidate James Harden and recently retired Paul Pierce were among the spectators.
As for those who did play on Sunday, Jason Williams and Corey Maggette left their games with what appeared to be minor injuries. Rose asked Trask if there’s a legitimate concern about retired NBA players not being in the best of shape.
“The men are in good shape, they really are,” Trask responded. “There were a couple injuries. We won’t know the extent until tests are done. You never want to draw conclusions until guys have MRI’s or things like that.” Trask notes that injuries can happen to even the most well conditioned athletes. During her time working with the Oakland Raiders, hall of famer Tim Brown went down with a knee injury in the first game of his second season. “There weren’t many guys in the shape Tim was in.”
Trask worked with the Raiders for nearly thirty years in various roles, serving as team CEO from 1997 to 2011. This experience put her on the radar of rapper Ice Cube to help run his Big3.
“I’ve known Ice Cube and his partner Jeff Kwatinetz for decades. Our connection was originally through the Raiders. They approached me this April about me joining them in a business capacity. I said no. We had a lot of conversations and then here I am. They’re very persuasive.” Trask added, “How lucky can a girl get working for Al Davis and now Ice Cube?”
While most games, including Monday’s premiere, air on tape delay, the August 26th final will be live on Fox. The championship game is scheduled to take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – the same venue to reportedly host Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor on the same night.
Trask hinted to Rose that a business arrangement can be reached for Mayweather Promotions to lock down the venue.
“We have the T-Mobile Arena under contract. The site has been scheduled. Our championship game and the fight are not at the same (exact) time, but the venue can only be used for one of the events.” Trask was quick to announce she had a smile on her face as she addressed the issue. “How do you say it on the playground? At the moment we have “dibs.”
For Mayweather to get “dibs,” it will likely come at a price.
Listen to the full interview from The Joe Rose Show above.