Coronavirus: Barack Obama praises Giannis, Zion and Curry after NBA stars make impressive gestures
- Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, Steph Curry and Zion Williamson have earned praise from Barack Obama.
Former United States president Barack Obama has paid tribute to a host of NBA stars for their generosity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA was this week suspended indefinitely amid the spread of COVID-19, with league commissioner Adam Silver saying that will remain the case for at least 30 days.
In response, Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Blake Griffin all donated $100,000 to the arena staff of their respective teams to help those who will be hardest hit by the halting of NBA action.
Zion Williamson vowed to cover the salaries of all staff at the New Orleans Pelicans' Smoothie King Center for the next month.
Steph Curry, meanwhile, was influential in a collaboration involving Golden State Warriors players, coaches and owners pledging $1million to aid Chase Center employees.
Their efforts caught the attention of Obama, who praised them on Twitter.
"A shout out to Kevin, Giannis, Zion, Blake, Steph and all the players, owners and organizations who are setting a good example during a challenging time," wrote Obama.
"A reminder that we’re a community, and that each of us has an obligation to look out for each other."
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. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) March 13, 2020
Relief efforts have also seen Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban initiate a system to financially support the arena workers at his team's American Airlines Center.
Earlier this week, Obama had highlighted the impact cancelling large sporting events and other significant public gatherings can have in the fight against the virus.
He wrote: "If you're wondering whether it's an overreaction to cancel large gatherings and public events (and I love basketball)… these measures can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. We have to look out for each other."Published 14 Mar 2020, 20:56 IST