Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinez, who are both founders of Big3 Basketball League, are headed to court. BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league, featuring mostly retired National Basketball Association (NBA) players. The league was created by the rapper/actor and the entertainment executive.
According to a report, they are suing a group of Qatari nationals for $1.2 billion, claiming the investors misled them, telling them that they had connections to the royal family. However, they say that they paid little more than half of the money they agreed to invest in the league.
In the suit, they accuse the investor group of defamation, libel, and interference with contractual relationships. The complaint alleges that one of the investors spread a false and harmful rumor about Kwatinetz, referring to the league’s African-American players as “Rich Nigg*s,” racist language he said he “never had and never would” use. It also claims the investors told players and outsiders that the league was poorly managed. They argue in the lawsuit,
The investors included Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat and head of Qatar Investments; Faisal Al-Hamadi, managing partner of Ory Capital; and Ayman Sabi, a Libyan-born American citizen who claims to be a board member of the Qatar Investment Authority. Together, they formed Sport Trinity, an investment vehicle whose benefactor, the suit alleges, is Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Sau Al Thani, chief executive of the Qatari Investment Authority. The suit says,
In the lawsuit, Kwatinetz and Cube say they expected the investors to be passive, but instead they were too involved in the league. They give examples of their over involvement which they claim included: showering select Big3 employees with lavish gifts, hosting parties on yachts and in their Los Angeles mansions, extending use of their expensive cars, and bragging about their association with the league’s celebrity investors and NBA stars. The suit claims,
In the suit, Kwatinetz says that he was confronted after a memorial service in February for Big3 player Rasual Butler. He says that he asked Al-Rumaihi if the balance, believed to be $4 million, would be wired the following Monday. In response, he says that Al-Rumaihi proposed a surprising counteroffer: a 25% stake in the league, for Ayman to be named chief operating officer and to be afforded “respect as a royal family member”. An argument ignited between the two and Kwatinetz says that Al-Rumaihi threatened. The suit alleges,
Reportedly, that matter is now is in arbitration. The civil suit is a separate action, seeking a jury trial to recover approximately $20 million per player in harm to Big3 and its founders’ reputations.
Written by TJB Writer