Amid the global coronavirus outbreak, the NBA decided to suspend its season "until further notice," Wednesday. The decision came after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, but it affects every team in the league.
At least one team owner is hoping to soften the blow for employees who will be out of work.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told reporters that he's looking for ways to help hourly employees who won't be able to make money during the suspension. "I reached out to the folks at the arena and the 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," Cuban said. "You know, they get paid by the hour and this is their source of income."
Cuban said he might ask those employees to do some volunteer work in exchange for their pay. While he didn't have details, the team owner said making sure employees had pay was something that was important to him.
The season's suspension came as a shock to many, including Cuban himself. Video captured the moment Cuban received the news — during the third quarter of his team's game against the Denver Nuggets. Several other sports leagues with the NHL suspending its season and MLB pushing back spring training.
Cuban made his comments about paying hourly workers in a press conference shortly after the game. Other team owners expressed similar worries for workers.
"We feel for the workers mostly, the low-income wage earners that count on working our games," said Golden State Warriors manager Bob Myers at a press conference. "If you're going to have empathy, have it for them, not for us. We play basketball. It's a big business, but we're just playing basketball."