As New York battles the coronavirus, Stephon Marbury is offering his assistance.
The former New York Knicks guard has offered to source 10 million N95 masks — which are in short supply amidst the coronavirus pandemic — for first responders. Marbury says he has arranged for a Chinese supplier to offer masks “at cost” for $2.75 a piece, nearly two-thirds less than their going rate. The two-time NBA All-Star is working alongside Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams to connect with New York City Hall and deliver masks as needed.
“I’m helping source mask for the Brooklyn Borough President. He’s not able to be here so he asked me to help. I’m from Brooklyn and my family lost loved ones due to the virus. It’s a sad time so I’m trying to help another BROOKLYNITE help people,” Marbury, who grew up in Coney Island, wrote on Twitter.
As Marbury works to source masks from China, New Balance and Nike are offering up their manufacturing facilities to begin producing face shields. Nike is prototyping protective face shields for nurses and doctors treating patients infected with the coronavirus, while New Balance is creating mask prototypes at its Lawrence, Mass. sneaker factory and has plans to expand its operations to other New England-area facilities.
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Marbury played for a number of NBA teams from 1996 to 2009, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. He went on to play for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Beijing Beikong Fly Dragons and currently is the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters, a CBA team.
While he’s best known for his hoops career, Marbury launched a sneaker label, called Starbury, in 2006, famously offering sneakers at a budget-friendly $15 price point. The brand, which relaunched in 2016 after declaring bankruptcy in 2009, continues to focus on low-priced footwear offerings today.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, about 60,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 1,000 deaths have been confirmed in New York state as of Sunday. In New York City, over 32,000 cases have been recorded, with at least 678 dead.
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