In what has become an uplifting gesture during an otherwise difficult time, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is following suit and donating $100,000 to help aid hourly workers who will be affected by NBA games being suspended due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Antetokounmpo’s donation comes on the heels of Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledging $100,000 earlier this week.
The Milwaukee Bucks will match the Giannis Antetokounmpo donation
After Giannis Antetokounmpo announced he and his family would be donating $100,000 to help aid workers at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum, Bucks’ VP Alex Lasry also stepped up.
Lasry, the son of Bucks’ billionaire co-owner Mark Lasry, responded to the Greek Freak by saying the Bucks always follow their leader. Lasry said the Bucks will match Antetokounmpo’s $100,000 donation and hopes they can all get through this together.
Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the first player on record to show his generosity by giving $100,000 to the workers in Cleveland earlier this week. Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans also said he would take care of the staff of the Smoothie King Center for the next 30 days.
The NBA announced that the rest of the season was suspended until further notice after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday. The next day, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for the virus.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban initiated the move to help workers
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was stunned to hear the news that the NBA suspended the rest of its season Wednesday night.
Immediately, Cuban announced he would be trying to put together a plan that would help those that are paid hourly at American Airlines Center.
“I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to support, financially support, people who aren’t going to be able to come to work,” Cuban told reporters on Wednesday night. “They get paid by the hour, and this was their source of income. So, we’ll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we’ve already started the process of having a program in place.
The return of the NBA is unknown
The NBA season is suspended until further notice, but owners have convinced NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to revisit the situation after 30 days.
“Even if we’re out for six weeks, we could still restart the season,” Silver told TNT’s panel of Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson. “The Finals might take place in July, [even] late July.”
The NBA isn’t the only league under suspension as the NHL followed suit immediately after the NBA made its decision. Major League Baseball has canceled the rest of spring training and has pushed back the start of the season at least two weeks. The Masters golf tournament was also canceled because of the coronavirus, as were the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tourneys.