Former NBA star Stephon Marbury says he’s trying to help deliver 10 million N95 masks from China to New York City. Marbury recently told the New York Post that he’s trying to broker a deal between local officials in New York and a Chinese supplier to alleviate the demand for masks.
Marbury, who now coaches the Chinese Basketball Association’s Beijing Royal Fighters, has been working with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams about helping his hometown. The two-time All-Star said the fight is personal because he lost a family member to the virus.
“We’re all in this together,” Marbury said on Twitter. “I lost a loved one to this invisible monster and the people who are trying to fight this virus need to be protected by any means.”
Marbury told the Post that he negotiated a deal that would allow New York to buy 10 million of the medical masks at $2.75 each — a cheaper rate than retailers in the state have reportedly been selling them for. The gear, which will go to hospital workers and first responders, would be delivered two million at a time over five weeks.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury said. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio told CBS News the mayor’s team is in contact with Marbury’s supplier and is currently “vetting the purchase.”
There are more than 66,400 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1,200 deaths in New York state, according to Johns Hopkins Unversity.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in recent weeks has asked businesses to help churn out more surgical masks, gowns and gloves, while also seeking to acquire ventilators. Some have helped with masks and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has delivered . ON Monday, he again called for for local hospitals, saying it is “desperately needed.”
CBS News also reached out to Cuomo’s office about Marbury, but did not immediately hear back.