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2023 NBA Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty

Well, this is definitely not what the NBA had in mind to kick off the season…

The US Department of Justice is investigating the National Basketball Association over allegations that they are working to torpedo Ice Cube’s BIG3 League.

According to a TMZ exclusive, the DOJ launched the inquiry months ago, looking into alleged anticompetitive behavior on the NBA’s part, aimed at squashing the growth of the BIG3, which launched in 2017 and consists mostly of retired NBA players.

TMZ reports:

Those allegations, we’re told, range from the NBA purportedly throwing its weight around to prevent sponsors and others potential partners from doing business with the rap legend’s league … to discouraging television networks from carrying Big3 games.

Some current NBA ballers have expressed interest in playing for the BIG3 during the offseason. However, the NBA allegedly put arbitrary rules in place to prevent that.

Sources familiar with the investigation tell TMZ that BIG3 officials believe that they’ve been unfairly targeted by the NBA.

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TMZ also notes that the NBA’s stronghold stretches beyond players, preventing NBA owners from investing in the BIG3 and referees from officiating BIG3 games.

According to a source, Ice Cube and BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz met with DOJ lawyers earlier this year. Investigators have also begun to contact NBA owners.

The NBA faces a significant fine if found that it committed antitrust violations.

NBA Under Investigation By DOJ For Alleged Violations Targeting BIG3 League  was originally published on