Dallas Mavericks owner and IU grad Mark Cuban, courtside Wednesday at one of the last pro basketball games for awhile, learned of the NBA's decision to postpone the remainder of the season out of concern about the corona-virus from a message on his phone. In an off-the-cuff interview, Cuban expressed support for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision and demonstrated an admirable ability to sort the important from the unimportant.
“You know what?” Cuban said. “It's really not just about basketball, or about money. If this thing is just exploding to the point where all of a sudden players and others have had it, you think about your family. You want to really make sure you're doing this the right way.”
The team Cuban owns was valued last spring at $2.25 billion, but Cuban's first thoughts didn't appear to be about his net worth. He talked about how he and his wife would have to decide whether to send their kids to school the next day. And when his thoughts turned to his employees, he wasn't just focused on million-dollar players such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis.
“What about all the people who work here on an hourly basis?” Cuban mused. “We'll put together a program for them.”
Among those applauding Cuban's remarks was Cody Zeller, the 7-foot-tall former Indiana Mr. Basketball who now plays for the Charlotte Hornets. Zeller, who was an All-American when he played for IU, sent out this tweet:
“Absolutely! We all have fun playing and watching NBA games, but many of our hard-working hourly employees and support staff depend on wages from our home games. We're going to make sure that they're taken care of! Even if I have to pay out of pocket to help out.”