Ice Cube. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

As the third season of Ice Cube's 3-on-3 basketball league, the BIG3, comes to a close with its championship game on Sunday, the league's MVP, Joe Johnson, 38, has received interest from multiple NBA teams following the season and will workout for the 76ers today, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: The BIG3 has had to fight against the stigma that it's nothing more than a haven for washed up former pros, so Johnson returning to the NBA would be extremely validating — proof that the league can not only help players leave basketball on their own terms but even rejuvenate their careers.

  • "I think [players and agents] believe it can only hurt them. ... But I'm telling you, if you're dominating the BIG3, you'll get back in the league," Celtics analyst and BIG3 player Brian Scalabrine told The Athletic (subscription).

I spoke with Ice Cube about the Johnson news and the BIG3 as a whole.

  • I'm trying to think of other players who could follow in Joe's footsteps and the first name that comes to mind is Carmelo Anthony. Thoughts?
"Of course we'd love it. He just has to figure out if he can get past the stigma of 'Oh, it's really over because you're in the BIG3.' Like no, this is where you can show that you can still play. Both sides of the ball, too — you have to play defense in our league."
  • Do you view the BIG3 as a competitor to the NBA or are you complementary?
"Complementary. We don't want to sidetrack somebody's dream of making it; we don't want to touch G League players. We want guys to keep their NBA dreams alive."
  • Could you see the BIG3-NBA relationship expanding in the future?
"In a perfect world, NBA players that want to get a little more physical or just play in a dope league in the summer could one day come play in the BIG3 in the offseason then go back to their NBA team."
  • Many athletes struggle with retirement. They miss that camaraderie, that sense of identity. Is that something you take pride in? Helping players through that?
"Yeah, man, that's spiritual to me. Because ya know, these guys work all their lives on this skill and then somebody comes and tells them it's over."
"I look at myself, and if someone had told me that, there would be a lot of cool s--t that's not in this world. So I have a lot of empathy for athletes who get kicked off the stage before they're done performing."
"Take a guy like Kenyon Martin. I think he was able to get all of his basketball out of him before retiring from the BIG3. No regrets, left a champion and had peace with it. That's what it's all about."

Go deeper: The NBA playoffs are a global affair

Go deeper

Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 5 million infections.

In photos: Florida breaks record for in-person early voting

Voters wait in line at John F. Kennedy Public Library in Hialeah, Florida on Oct. 19. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

More Floridians cast early ballots for the 2020 election on Monday than in the first day of in-person early voting in 2016, shattering the previous record by over 50,000 votes, Politico reports.

The big picture: Voters have already cast over 31 million ballots in early voting states as of Tuesday, per the U.S. Elections Project database by Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida.