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Old 03-13-2020, 06:38 PM
BLUE LOU BOYLE BLUE LOU BOYLE is offline
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ALL-CLASS: Zion pledges to cover Pelicans' arena staff salaries for next 30 days

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is pledging to cover the wages of the team's arena staff during the next 30 days of the NBA season disruption.

"The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at Smoothie King Center," Williamson wrote in an Instagram post. "These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization.

"Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long-term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days."

On Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the hiatus would most likely last "at least 30 days."

Williamson hopes his contribution will help New Orleans through the rough patch ahead.

"This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis," Williamson added.

After knee surgery delayed his NBA debut, Williamson set the league ablaze upon his long-awaited arrival on Jan. 22. Through his first 19 appearances, the 2019 first overall pick averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game, all while shooting 46.2% on 3-pointers and 58.9% from the field.

Largely due to Williamson's midseason addition to the lineup, the Pelicans fought their way to a 28-36 record - just 3.5 games behind the Western Conference's eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies - before the NBA season was suspended on Wednesday.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:47 PM
BLUE LOU BOYLE BLUE LOU BOYLE is offline
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Reigning NBA MVP GIannis Antetokounmpo is doing his part to help out arena workers that will be negatively impacted financially by the league's current suspension following the outbreak of the coronavirus. On Friday, Antetokounmpo took to Twitter to say that he planned to pledge $100,000 to the staff of Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

"It's bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family's lives and my teammates lives easier," Antetokounmpo wrote. "Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!"

The gesture was obviously a great one that will go a long way toward helping those that need it during a very tough time. Coronavirus may not have a huge financial impact on wealthy NBA players, but it has the potential to be disastrous for those who work in or around the NBA in a non-basketball capacity, and clearly Antetokounmpo recognizes this.

Antetokounmpo's announcement came a day after Cavaliers forward Kevin Love also pledged to donate $100,000 to the staff of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland and shortly before it was announced that Pistons forward Blake Griffin would also be donating $100,000 to the workers at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

"Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming," Love wrote of his donation. "Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the Kevin Love Fund in support of the Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities."

The league's current hiatus is expected to last at least 30 days, according to commissioner Adam Silver. As no unified plan has been presented to take care of the arena workers, it's nice to see some players taking action into their own hands.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:50 PM
BLUE LOU BOYLE BLUE LOU BOYLE is offline
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Coronavirus may not have a huge financial impact on wealthy NBA players, but it has the potential to be disastrous for those who work in or around the NBA in a non-basketball capacity. With no games being played, arena workers around the league that are paid on an hourly basis are suddenly out of a job. No unified plan has been presented to take care of those workers, so some people are taking it into their own hands.

One such example? Kevin Love. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward pledged a $100,000 donation to the the workers and support staff at Quicken Loans Arena impacted by this crisis with an Instagram post Thursday.

So far, Love is one of the first major basketball figures to pledge financial support to displaced arena workers. The Cavaliers followed Love's lead, with a statement saying they will develop "a compensation plan to continue paying our event staff and hourly workforce that is impacted with the changes to our regular event schedule."

The generosity shown by both Love and the Cavs made one player on Cleveland's roster feel particularly proud:

"Incredible! Proud to be around such an amazing organization and people! Well done @kevinlove and @cavsdan," Larry Nance Jr. tweeted.

Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks was the first team owner to promise wages to arena staff, though he has not yet figured out the specifics.

"I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren't going to be able to come to work -- you know, they get paid by the hour, and this is their source of income," Cuban said during a press conference Wednesday. "We'll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we've already started the process of having a program in place. I don't have any details to give, but it's certainly something that's important to me."

Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler followed Cuban's lead, according to Bill Shea of The Athletic. This is one of the greater indirect threats that the world faces amidst this crisis. Even a healthy person has quite a bit to lose financially if they are unable to work due to public health closures, and that could have a crippling effect on the economy. The league and its players can't protect everyone from financial harm, but doing its part to help its own employees would seem to be a logical point of intervention. The NBA may not be obligated to pay its workers right now, but Love was not obligated to do so either. He did so, and the league should follow his lead.
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:48 PM
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I have not always thought of the NBA as a stand up league, but some of these offerings are changing my mind, If others keep following these offerings it would be amazing.Blue Lou brought up some great points . And pointed out some NBA players are class acts and stand up people. I would tend to agree at this points. You can't buy class it just shows by your actions,
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:09 PM
BLUE LOU BOYLE BLUE LOU BOYLE is offline
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Blake Griffin, a forward for the Detroit Pistons, confirmed on Twitter he's donating $100,000 to staff of Little Caesars Arena.

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The Golden State Warriors announced Friday that the franchise's owners, players and coaches will contribute $1 million to disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees.

"The men and women who work our games at Chase Center are critical in providing an incredible game-night experience for our fans, including of course, the popcorn vendors," said Warriors guard Stephen Curry. "As players, we wanted to do something, along with our ownership and coaches, to help ease the pain during this time."

Curry is a well-known popcorn fanatic.

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The players' donations come after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced Wednesday that he had begun to put in place a program to financially support the arena workers.

"I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to support, financially support, people who aren't going to be able to come to work," Cuban said. "They get paid by the hour, and this was their source of income. So, we'll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we've already started the process of having a program in place. I don't have any details to give, but it's certainly something that's important to me."

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