Former NBA star Stephon Marbury is trying to do his part in helping his home city and country.
Marbury, who lives in Beijing and is a coach in the Chinese Basketball Association, told the New York Post on Sunday that he is trying to arrange a deal that would deliver 10 million N95 masks to New York City hospital workers and first responders on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 43-year-old Brooklyn native made arrangements with a supplier in China to sell the masks for $2.75 each — nearly two-thirds less than the standard price tag of $7.50.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury, who also spent five of his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, told the Post. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
Marbury contacted Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams to coordinate the sale, but things have not gone so smoothly in finalizing the transaction.
Adams claimed that city and state officials told him they did not need the masks when he initially reached out with Marbury’s offer, while hospitals claim otherwise.
However, the state Department of Health officials told the Post that the state officials in charge of buying masks “want to talk to Stephon,” and were being put in touch with Adams’ office — which has a direct pipeline to Marbury — to make that happen.
The masks would be delivered 2 million at a time over five weeks, per the Post.
New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with 52,000 positive cases in the state, and 25,000 of those in New York City as of Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, the Knicks announced that team owner James Dolan had tested positive for the virus.