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A number of players and owners have chosen to financially support team and arena staff after the NBA decided to postpone the remainder of the season amid coronavirus concerns.
Today, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson has pledged to pay the salaries for Pelicans arena staff workers for the next 30 days.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also announced that they would pay their respective arena staffs during the league suspension.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will compensate hourly and event staff team members in lieu of the regular season, and Cavs player Kevin Love has made a $100,000 donation to arena workers.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has followed Love’s lead and also donated $100,000 to his team’s arena staff.
On Saturday, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz donated half a million dollars to help. NBA Insider Shams Charania revealed that the money will go to "arena employees and relief in Utah, Oklahoma City, and France." Gobert tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.
"I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted," the Jazz center, who tested positive for the coronavirus, said. "These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take."
The Staples Center also announced it was donating 7,000 pounds of food in wake of the NBA season postponement. The venue's official Twitter included photos of some of the packaged food that woul've otherwise gone to waste. The donation will benefit homeless services The Midnight Mission and Los Angeles Mission Men's Center.
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced that he has pledged a donation of $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic that will be used towards releasing a test that detects COVID-19. "My hope is that we can fight this virus quicker and more efficiently by increasing the testing capabilities and availability and Mayo Clinic's overall COVID-19 response," Towns wrote on Instagram. "This is why I will be donating $100K to support these efforts."
On March 24, Joel Embiid announced that he'll donate $500,000 to coronavirus relief. The money will also go to Sixers employees whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic, Shams Charania reports.
The news comes a day after Kyrie Irving announced that he's donating $323,000 to Feeding America, and "helping distribute 250,000 meals in the New York area," Charania reports.