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By Jacob Rund
The fired commissioner of a new three-on-three basketball league co-founded by rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube is suing in Delaware state court for a peek at the company’s internal data.
Former NBA guard Roger Mason Jr., in a complaint filed April 9, asked a Chancery Court judge to order that Big3 LLC turn over certain records, which he could use in a separate suit against company executives over his termination. Mason was fired as a Big3 commissioner in March after serving during its inaugural 2017 season.
Mason’s Delaware complaint stems from an ongoing feud between Big3 and Qatari investment group Sport Trinity. Big3 sued the group April 5 in California state court for allegedly walking back on a planned investment and trying to gain majority ownership in the company.
Mason’s suit says Big3 Co-CEO Jeff Kwatinetz helped “manufacture a sham ‘independent investigation’” into the Sport Trinity situation, and used Mason’s “fictitious refusal” to cooperate as justification for his firing.
“Roger Mason is obviously a desperate man who will say and do anything at this point,” Ice Cube said in a statement provided for Bloomberg Law.
Mason’s complaint said “Kwatinetz sought to make Mason the scapegoat for his own wrongdoing, outrageously blaming Mason for jeopardizing the league’s financial success.”
Big3, in its California lawsuit, claimed that Mason was “compromised” by Sport Trinity and didn’t cooperate in the investigation.
Mason, a 11-year NBA veteran and former players union official, recently filed a separate $100 million lawsuit against Big3 and Kwatinetz for defamation and breach of contract, the complaint said.
The eight-team league employs a number of retired NBA players, and now lists NBA Hall of Fame member Clyde Drexler as its new commissioner.
Delaware law firm Richards, Layton & Finger P.A. is representing Mason in the books and records complaint.
The case is Mason v. Big3 LLC , Del. Ch., No. 2018-0263, complaint filed 4/9/18 .
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