Over the last week, one of the more prominent voices in the basketball community has been former New York Knicks star point guard Stephon Marbury. He has stepped up in a significant way bringing more attention to the situation that includes lending a helping hand to his home state of New York through this challenging time dealing with the increasing spread of the coronavirus. Marbury also may have helped in a much bigger way than previously known as his words of advice could have played a part in the NBA acting in the manner that they did in response to the coronavirus impacting the league.
Stephon Marbury lending a helping hand to New York
Since the coronavirus began to steadily impact the United States, the state of New York has been hit the hardest.
It has seen the number of cases continue to rise at a concerning rate while it has further flooded hospitals in the state and brought a greater need for more medical supplies. In response to that, it has seen Marbury step it up in a significant way as he’s working with a mask supplier in China to sell New York 10 million N95 masks for hospital works and other first responders dealing with the coronavirus.
The former NBA star is working hand in hand with Eric Adams, who is likely a 2021 mayoral candidate in New York, to help bring in more masks to the healthcare workers that need them. What is more encouraging about the situation is that they are being sold well below the rate that retailers are quoting to New York.
There is expected to be two million shipped each week over five weeks. Marbury’s actions go much further than before this honorable move.
How Stephon Marbury helped Adam Silver
Over the last decade, Marbury has spent his basketball career in China playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. He has transitioned over to being the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters in the league.
Given that the virus first hit China, it gave Marbury a first-hand experience with it was impacting the country. That information was what the 43-year-old conveyed in an email to NBA commissioner Adam Silver last month to help guide the league to handling the situation in a prompt manner, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
I sent [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver an email March 8. I said in the email, ‘You guys got to stop.’ I said, ‘This is not good. You got, like, 17,000, 18,000 people going to games and people don’t know if they’re infected or not. This could happen. One of the basketball players can get infected. Anything can happen.’ He was like, ‘Stephon, thank you for so much for sending me this email.’ My concern is for everybody. It’s bigger than basketball. You got guys getting sick and they can’t play. I mean, what’s the use? There is no point or no purpose. I think that it’s going to be a really big challenge for the [NBA] season to get going this year.
Marbury’s message certainly played a part in moving the NBA toward suspending the season, which became quite clear after Utah Jazz star center Rudy Gobert contracted the virus, and his teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive for it shortly after. There was an immediate need to shut it all down, and the league quickly went in that direction.
The fact that Marbury reached out to Silver only painted a more precise picture that the situation with the virus should be taken more seriously. His email only further hammered home that point to the NBA.
What lies ahead of the NBA?
Through the last few weeks since the NBA decided to suspend the 2019-20 season, there has remained a desire to continue the campaign at some point in the coming months.
It’s a situation that is entirely out of their hands as the coronavirus situation in the United States is expected to get worse before it starts to improve. There is no timetable for when that may be, but the NBA is still holding out hope.
That could see abbreviated playoffs with no remaining regular season at all, or it may lead to the rest of the season being canceled. Only time will tell what will transpire.