BIG3 explains why Allen Iverson didn’t play at Philadelphia tour stop

Understanding the disappointment, the BIG3 founders explained why Iverson couldn’t play in Philly. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The BIG3, Ice Cube’s new three-on-three basketball league made up of former NBA players, stopped in Philadelphia this past weekend. The league has used Allen Iverson as a lynchpin of its marketing, so as you’d expect, 76ers fans were fired up to see The Answer in action — even though he’s been a shell of his former self on the court.

They were disappointed, however, when Iverson was unable to play due to injury. Iverson pulled out 25 minutes before the day’s games began.

Ice Cube explained what happened during the league’s teleconference Wednesday.

“We heard that Allen couldn’t play, I think it was about 2 o’clock (Sunday), we went into his room and he was in the bed and he was telling us what happened,” Ice Cube, one of the league’s co-founders, said. “And we heard what happened, heard he couldn’t play, doctor advised him he couldn’t play. Our league, the way our contracts are set up, we can’t be specific on injuries or what players are medically going through. It’s up to the player to reveal that information himself. Allen asked us to hold off. He wanted to make an announcement to his fans directly. He made his Instagram message to the fans on why he wasn’t going to play. But from Day One, we’ve always known and Allen has always told us that he was a player-coach, meaning sometimes he would play, sometimes he would coach.”

Though Cube did not disclose Iverson’s injury, he’s been battling knee issues as he’s competed this summer. League co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, Ice Cube’s longtime partner, said Iverson willed himself to go see the fans.

“We saw a guy who should have stayed in bed, who was advised to stay in bed,” Kwatinetz said. “And it was an incredible thing that Allen did because he looked at us and said, ‘I can’t do that, guys. I’m in Philadelphia. I’ve got to show up and coach and try to win.’ He showed up early. … Frankly if I had been his agent, I would have made him stay in bed. But he’s a grown man. He can do what he wants, and it was a pretty remarkable thing to see.”

BIG3 has now made four stops, with five more to go before the championship in Las Vegas Aug. 26.

Yardbarker: NBA

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