Former NBA star Stephon Marbury is trying to give back in a major way to his home state of New York as the United States continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Marbury is among NBA stars who have played professional basketball in China. He’s now attempting to get 10 million masks for coronavirus from the country where he lives delivered over to New York.
Stephon Marbury brokering a deal for masks in China
In a New York Post exclusive, it’s noted that former New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury has been trying to arrange a deal to buy 10 million masks in China from a supplier. Once the purchase happens, he’d have the masks delivered to New York for first responders and medical personnel who desperately need them.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury indicated in the NY Post report. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
“I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time,” Marbury added.
Since China is past its peak cases of coronavirus and has made significant progress in recovery, the country has more masks then needed. So that would mean a surplus of masks.
Based on the details of the deal Marbury is brokering, about 2 million masks would go from the supplier to New York every week for five weeks. In addition, Marbury arranged with the supplier to buy the masks at $2.75, which is below the $7.50 price the N95 retailers have been reportedly quoting New York.
Marbury, Brooklyn Borough President are trying to work with NY
To try to make things happen, Marbury has been in contact with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. It’s noted that Adams is someone that could be a 2021 mayoral candidate, and has supported other charitable efforts that Marbury has arranged.
Unfortunately, so far, Adams’ attempts to get things in motion with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and their respective offices haven’t gone quite how they’d like.
Reportedly, Adams said, they’d been “communicating back and forth with the city and state, and for some reason they are saying they don’t need any more masks.” However, Adas says that hospitals indicate that they need them.
It’s also reported by NY Post, that Adams received an email reply from Daniel Symon, director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. That reply stated, “If the N95 check out, that is a decent price. If you’d like to put us in touch with the supplier directly, we’d be happy to vet this and move towards purchase.”
Masks are in short supply in many areas, based on reports. That would seem to be the situation in New York, based on the rising numbers for New York City and the state itself. As of right now, NY is the state in the U.S. with the most coronavirus cases and deaths. The difference over the next-highest state is a staggering amount, based on the latest data.
According to a NY Daily News report on Sunday morning, the number of confirmed NYC coronavirus cases alone increased from 29,158 to 32,308 over 24 hours. NYC’s death toll for coronavirus deaths rose by 161 deaths in that timeframe.
The news of Marbury’s effort also comes just as current New York Knicks owner James Dolan was amongst those recently reported as having tested positive for coronavirus.