Mark Cuban has certainly endeared himself to NBA fans with his comments last night after finding out the news of Coronavirus causing the suspension of the NBA season.
After he announced that the Mavericks’ workers would be financially compensated for the rest of- what would have been- the season, fans everywhere have called for their team's owner to make a similar decision, something that Cavaliers player Kevin Love clearly took to heart and donated $100,000 to arena workers.
Cuban's five minute press conference had a few main statements:
When asked how concerned he was about the situation:
”Obviously very concerned, but it’s not necessarily about basketball, obviously this is much bigger than basketball... this is obviously new territory... basketball obviously becomes secondary.”
He brought up the expertise that the NBA has to offer in regards to the disease, saying:
“Nobody at the Dallas Mavericks is an expert on infectious diseases, or their spread... this is not a situation where you fake it till you make it or try to sound or act important. The NBA has hired people with expertise in those areas and they’re working with people from the government and other people with expertise and so we have to defer to them.”
He also unsurprisingly stated that he thinks “the NBA made the right decision.”
“I didn’t have an opinion [on whether to disallow fans or suspend the NBA]. We said that effectively we’ll go with what the NBA says”
And finally, in regards to supporting the arena staff:
”I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren’t gonna be able to come to work... we may ask them to do some volunteer work in exchange... it’s certainly something that’s important to me.”
In an interview for ESPN's Get Up, Cuban announced that wages would be paid through at least March, and while he didn’t say anything further, it is likely that the support will extend past that
None of this is surprising from the Mavs' owner, as he is certainly forthcoming and outspoken in his job, and he has shown the entire NBA world how much he cares about his employees and his understanding of how everything occurring throughout the world is much bigger than just basketball.
His influence on other basketball figures is also clear, as Atlanta owner Antony Ressler followed suit with his plan shortly after, and much more support is likely to come as the NBA struggles to cope through this period which has both confused and terrorised the world.