Ice Cube knows the chances of Kobe Bryant playing in the BIG3 next year are slim to none -- but ya can't score if you don't shoot!!
Cube's BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz got everyone's hopes up on Tuesday when he told the media that a "credible source" informed him Mamba was joining the 3-on-3 league in 2019.
Kobe's people quickly shot that down -- so, when we saw Cube in NYC early Wednesday morning, we asked him to clear everything up.
Cube told TMZ Sports he hadn't spoken to Kobe yet, but says when it comes to a basketball comeback, "I think he's done."
Still, he left the door open a crack ... and even pitched Kobe about why he should add BIG3 to his resume.
Kobe hasn't played pro basketball since he retired from the NBA at the end of the 2015-16 season -- and his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was adamant he ain't EVER coming back.
Shaquille O'Neal doesn't seem convinced, however, recently telling TMZ Sports his former Lakers teammate was coming back for one last hurrah with LeBron James.
Don't hold your breath ...