Rapper Ice Cube Dangles $5M Deal in Front of Clark

He wants her to play for his Big3 league, reportedly won't stop her from playing in WNBA, too
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2024 9:50 AM CDT
Clark May Soon Be 'Basketball's First-Ever $5M Woman'
Caitlin Clark drives up the court during a college basketball game against West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament on Monday in Iowa City, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Caitlin Clark has been smashing record after record this year, and she may be on the cusp of breaking another. TMZ Sports reported Wednesday that the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star now has a $5 million offer in front of her to play for Ice Cube's Big3 league,
which would make her "basketball's first-ever $5 million woman."

  • The offer: Sources tell TMZ that Clark would receive her payout for playing just eight regular-season games and two possible playoff games, as well as "substantial additional compensation" via sponsorships and merch. Perhaps the most appealing part to Clark: The deal would allow her to still play in the WNBA, whose draft Clark is expected to be a part of next month.
  • Ice Cube-verified: The rapper confirmed TMZ's report later that day, noting on X he'd hoped to keep the negotiations under wraps as Clark preps for this weekend's Sweet 16 game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the NCAA Tournament. However, "I won't deny what's now already out there: BIG3 made a historic offer to Caitlin Clark," he wrote.

  • Pioneer: The Athletic notes the Big3 league already has two women coaches, Lisa Leslie and Nancy Lieberman, both of whom have guided their teams to titles, but if Clark accepts the offer, she'd become the first woman to play in the 12-team, three-on-three league. "Caitlin is a generational athlete who can achieve tremendous success" in the Big3, Ice Cube wrote in his thread, adding that she "can make history and break down even more barriers for women athletes."
  • Context: The highest-paid player in the WNBA last year was the Seattle Storm's Jewell Loyd, who brought home a salary of $600,000 with bonuses. First-year players start at $62,000, with pay reaching up to nearly $235,000 for more senior players. Clark's expected salary in the league would be around $76,000, if she's the overall first draft pick, as everyone expects her to be.
  • Ice Cube's take: "America's women athletes should not be forced to spend their off seasons playing in often dismal and dubious foreign countries just to make ends meet," he notes on X, adding, "And they should have more than just one professional option in the US at a time when American pro sports leagues are being infiltrated by autocratic, anti-women regimes such as Qatar."
  • No deal? USA Today details why it doesn't think Clark will take the offer.
(More Caitlin Clark stories.)

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