Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

The Champions Basketball League, which was pitched to investors as a 16-team basketball league made up of former NBA players, has had quite a bit of trouble getting itself off the ground. The league is now placing the blame for its struggles at the feet of another independent basketball league, Ice Cube’s Big3.

The CBL has filed a $250 million lawsuit against the Big3, alleging that the latter league defrauded the former, preventing it from starting on time. The central allegation is that CBL CEO Carl George had begun coordinating with the Big3 when he realized that both leagues had signed many of the same players. According to the suit, George called one of the Big3's founders, Jeff Kwatinetz, and the two agreed to schedule their respective games in a way that would allow players to participate in both leagues. But according to George, the Big3 went back on that agreement and refused to allow its players to participate in the first CBL game. From the suit:

In July of 2017, the CBL began notifying its players that the league was going tocommence and to be prepared to play as required under the CBL player contracts.

To CBL’s surprise, players slated to participate in the CBL’s inaugural game on August23, 2017 informed the CBL that they would be unable to participate due to threats madeby the BIG3. Specifically, such players indicated that the BIG3 had asserted that theplayer agreements prohibited participation in the CBL league for the August 23 game andthat any player participating in with the CBL would be found in violation of the BIG3contract and rules and subsequently significantly fined and/or kicked out of the BIG3.

When the CBL discovered from its players the stance that the BIG3 was taking withrespect to the CBL’s inaugural game, the CBL immediately tried to contact the BIG3 through repeated calls to Amy Trask, Big3’s CEO. All calls or attempts to contact theBIG3 by the CBL were not returned.

Several players who were playing for the BIG3 and who also had existing contracts withthe CBL told the CBL that they were told when they signed with the Big3 initially thatthe BIG3 only restricted participation in other 3 on 3 basketball events. Such players alsoindicated their belief that their contracts do not actually restrict them from playing in theCBL but that the threat from the Big3 could cost them their position and theirparticipation in the 52% of revenues promised by the Big3 as a season ending bonus pool.

You can read the entire suit below: