Why Ice Cube said he’s ‘forever grateful’ for Celtics star Jaylen Brown


“He’s making a humongous statement by being the first current NBA player to play in a BIG3 game.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Jaylen Brown answered questions last month at the MIT Media Lab after signing his $300 million contract extension with the Boston Celtics.
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Jaylen Brown signed the richest contract in NBA history, helped lead the Celtics on several deep playoff runs, and made a pair of NBA All-Star games.

Now he can add another accomplishment to his list. Entertainment mogul Ice Cube now considers Brown a “hero” after the Celtics star agreed to play in the upcoming BIG3 All-Star game.

“Jaylen Brown is my hero,” Cube wrote on Twitter. “He’s making a humongous statement by being the first current NBA player to play in a BIG3 game. By suiting up for our All-Star game tomorrow, he’s doing everything in his power to help the league succeed. Salute. Forever grateful.”

The BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league that Cube co-founded six years ago. He’s called the league one of his proudest accomplishments and has been outspoken about both his efforts to grow the league and the NBA’s lack of support for it.

The league’s biggest obstacle from a growth standpoint is a lack of media coverage and sponsorship, Cube told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Having an NBA player of Brown’s caliber play in the league’s All-Star game will likely help draw publicity to the league.

Cube told Boston.com in July that he views the BIG3 as more of a complimentary piece that could help the NBA, instead of a competitor.

“We’re doing things to change the game,” Cube said. “They can always use us as a unique experiment with new rules and technology, things that they may want to try out that they aren’t ready to implement into the NBA yet.”

Cube said he did not envision himself founding a basketball league for a long time. But, as a fan of the game, he noticed players who were no longer on NBA rosters that he wanted to see stay connected to the game in some form or fashion. So, he created the league as an avenue for them.

“It’s setting the stage for some of my heroes. Especially, the coaches,” Cube said in July. “It’s great to be able to do that, to be able to put them back where they belong in heated competition. To me, that’s something that I’m not used to doing. I’m used to setting the table for myself through movies or music or whatever. But, being able to set the stage for some of my heroes like Dr. J., the Iceman, Rick Barry, and those guys is very satisfying.”