Ice Cube's BIG3 basketball league seemed like a solid success in its first year.
But its future is now in question after we've learned that the money behind BIG3 was provided by a Qatari investor with the intention of influencing the Trump administration, not building a lasting league.
Ice Cube and his co-CEO Jeff Kwatinetz are now suing Qatari citizen Ahmed al Rumaihi, who promised to invest $20.5 million in the league but only provided $7.5 million.
They say Rumaihi only made the investment because Kwatinetz was close to President Trump's then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who Rumaihi wanted to meet with.
In the lawsuit, Kwatinetz says that al Rumaihi asked him to set up a meeting with Bannon so that the Qatari could “convey a message from the Qatari Government to Steve Bannon.”
When he wouldn't, Rumaini stopped providing the BIG3 with the money he had promised them.
According to Kwatinetz, Rumaihi “laughed" at him when he tried to keep his relationship with Bannon separate from the league. Rumaihi also told him that everyone in Washington (including Trump's disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn) took his money.
Cube and Kwatinetz are looking to recover the rest of the promised investment.