Ice Cube, rap iconic, actor, and founder of the BIG3 League spoke with Lakers Nation this week ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft to discuss his three-on-three basketball league as well as his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.
In part one of the interview, Cube gave us the rundown on his new league and when it will come to Los Angeles with stars like Allen Iverson, Stephen Jackson and Jason Williams putting their skills on display in an entertaining format. The BIG3 League season begins on June 25 in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.
It the second part of the interview, it was all Lakers and what the future holds for the storied franchise that Cube has been supporting since Magic Johnson’s heyday during the Showtime era.
RW: What was your reaction to the D’Angelo Russell trade?
IC: “Well, I like D’Angelo. I think, you know, different circumstances, we probably would’ve given him one more year. See what he could do. I guess the front office said they saw enough. Wish him well.
“You got to look at his assist numbers, and you got to make sure his numbers are compatible with all the other guards is going on, and they assist level. I think he got to work on his game a little bit. Hopefully, in Brooklyn, he’ll be able to.”
RW: What are your thoughts on all these trade rumors about Paul George potentially coming to the Lakers? Do you think it would be the right move?
IC: “I think so. I think we need to really start building. Free agency has kind of always been our way to build. The quickest, the fastest. I don’t think that’s going to change. I think it is still the best way to rebuild for us through free agency.”
RW: So you think the Lakers should wait for free agency and not trade for George right now?
IC: “Not sure. I’m not sure if they should just wait or not. I got my head so into three-on-three basketball. It’s hard to focus on what my Lakes-Lakes are doing right now [laughs].
“I have much confidence in Magic [Johnson]. Jeanie Buss has been great. I think they’re going to stick it out. I have no doubt.”
RW: Do you think Lonzo Ball is the right guy for the Lakers at No. 2 in the NBA Draft?
IC: “I think so. I think he can handle it. Being an L.A. kid and having a father like LaVar [laughs]. Kid can handle it. He can handle it. Trust me.”
RW: LaVar Ball. The four-point challenge. Is it actually going to happen?
IC: “I don’t know. I think he busy right now trying to get his son drafted in the right position. Whether it happen or not, I still want to buy his team some shoes. Some of the ZO2s. Whether it happen or not, I’m still going to make sure his team gets the shoes.”
RW: So it could change after the 2017 NBA Draft, right?
IC: “It could. If he comes out and challenges then we gonna go for it.”
RW: LeBron James. There has been a lot of talk over the last few weeks that it seems inevitable that he’s coming to Los Angeles. Would you want LeBron wearing purple and gold? Do you think it happens?
IC: “Of course. Who wouldn’t want LeBron James? That would be heaven-sent. That would be Magic! [laughs] If that happened, that would be pure Magic.”
RW: How was your experience narrating the Lakers-Celtics 30 for 30? What was it like revisiting the history of the rivalry?
IC: “It was fun. I had a lot of fun doing it because this was my era. It was long because it was a three-part series, but straight labor of love. The first two parts I was like, ‘Man, when is this gonna get good?’ Takes it all the way to ’84 and then it ends…then went from ’85 to ’87, so I got a chance to show out a little bit.”
Best basketball movie of all-time?
IC: “He Got Game.”
IC: “Magic Johnson.”
Favorite Lakers memory?
IC: “Beating Boston in ’85 on the Boston floor.”
Will the Lakers make the playoffs next season?
IC: “No. I don’t think so. I think they’re gonna improve, and that’s all I’m looking for. Who cares if you make the playoffs if you can’t win the championship? So I’m just looking for improvement on games, chemistry, philosophy…just looking for them to get better. Not to make the playoffs.”