Rapper and BIG3 founder Ice Cube sat down with Kanell and Bell to talk about everything around the growing league, including the most recent coach of the year. The three-on-three professional basketball league is made up of former professional and international players.
Lisa Leslie, basketball Hall of Famer and the head coach of the Triplets, took home the BIG3 coach of the year honor this year. The award is voted on by others in the league and for the second year in a row a female coach got the award. Last year Nancy Lieberman was named coach of the year and won the BIG3 championship as well. "What's so good about these awards is they're voted by their peers," Ice Cube says on what it means to have a female coach take home the award. "This is something that the players and the coaches in the league voted on so I think it speaks for itself."
According to Ice Cube the award "lets everybody know that gender has nothing to do with if you can coach basketball or not." He says it is about hiring the person who is best at their job, and that gender does not have anything to do with a person's ability to coach. "It doesn't take men to coach men. Women can coach men just like men can coach women."
Gender equality in sports is not just something he talks about, it is something his league puts into action, and says it should not be debated. "It's just a no brainer," he said. "You know we're not talking about it, we're being about it." The BIG3 is not just a league to the rapper but a chance to promote inclusion and diversity, "We're all about progress and this just shows hey, put your money where your mouth is and you'll get results."
Leslie got results this year when she led her team to a 7-1 record and earned the top spot in the regular season. Her team will take on the Killer 3's in the BIG3 title game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.