Stephon Marbury experienced plenty of ups and downs during his 13-season NBA career before becoming a basketball legend in China.
In nearly a decade as a star attraction in the Asian nation, the New York City native became a fan favorite and cultural icon. This put him in a unique position to leverage his fame and fortune to make the assist of a lifetime.
Marbury is working to secure the delivery of 10 million masks to NYC as the coronavirus epidemic ravages his hometown.
Stephon Marbury announced he has made a deal with a Chinese mask supplier to provide the 10 million masks for the Big Apple at a marked-down price of $2.75 apiece, the New York Post and other media outlets reported over the weekend. Normally, the N95 masks are priced at $7.50 apiece.
Above all, Marbury’s efforts are meant to help New York City attack the COVID-19 crisis at the frontline. The masks are set to be procured for first responders and hospital personnel.
Marbury, 43, contacted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office to let it know of his desire to help pitch in. New York needs an influx of supplies, including masks and ventilators for the coming weeks and months, health experts have said.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Stephon Marbury told the New York Post via phone from Beijing. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
The Beijing Royal Fighters head coach continued: “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.”
Stephon Marbury’s efforts
For Marbury, the plan is to have the masks sent to his hometown in five big shipments.
“With China now beginning to recover from the pandemic, Marbury’s mask contact has more N95s than that country currently needs, according to Brooklyn Borough Hall. The gear would be delivered 2 million at a time over five weeks,” the New York Post reported.
COVID-19 crisis in New York
As of the weekend, more than 60,000 New Yorkers have been infected with COVID-19. The crisis hit close to home for Stephon Marbury, who revealed his personal loss in an interview with NBC New York.
“I’ve lost loved ones to this invisible monster. I have a cousin who died yesterday due to the coronavirus my family is dealing with a very difficult time,” Marbury said.
Did you know?
Before becoming the Royal Fighters coach in June 2019, Stephon Marbury, a two-time NBA All-Star, won three CBA titles as a go-to player for the Beijing Ducks.