Former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury is working on a deal with a Chinese N95 mask supplier to bring 10 million masks to hospital workers and other first responders in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in the US. Marbury told the New York Post on Sunday that the Chinese supplier is willing to sell the masks “at cost,” which is $2.75 each. According to The Post, other sellers have been supplying the state masks at $7.50 per mask.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the New York Post. “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.”
The effort to finalize the deal has come with challenges. Marbury reached out directly to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who he has had a relationship with, to initiate the deal. Adams attempted to connect with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, but continues to receive conflicting information. “We’ve been communicating back and forth with the city and state, and for some reason they are saying they don’t need any more masks, but the hospitals are saying they do,” Adams said.
Hopefully, the respective official government offices can get this ironed out so the needed supplies can be delivered where needed.
Marbury played in the NBA for 13 seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics. He played in China from 2009 to 2013 before becoming a head coach in the same professional basketball league, which is where his roots in the country come from. Marbury currently lives in Beijing.