Former Knicks guard and New York native Stephon Marbury has lined up 10 million N95 masks to be delivered from the place he currently calls home — China — to his hometown to help medical personnel battling the coronavirus.
But, according to a story Sunday in the New York Post, Marbury claims actually getting the masks to New York has been anything but easy.
Marbury played 13 seasons in the NBA before becoming a legend in the Chinese Basketball Association. He told the Post he worked out a deal with a supplier in China to deliver 10 million masks to the state of New York at $2.75 apiece — nearly $5 apiece less than Governor Andrew Cuomo claims vendors have been quoting the state.
“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the Post while speaking on the phone from his Beijing home. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
Marbury reached out to Eric Adams, president of the Brooklyn Borough, to connect with Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, with a plan to deliver two million masks per week over a five-week period.
But, according to the Post, a series of miscommunications have prevented the two sides — Marbury’s suppliers and New York officials — from making direct contact.
A representative of Adams’ office did tell the Post that Borough Hall is open to working with the mayor’s office “and want to do whatever it takes to get these masks to our hospitals and first responders.”
Marbury, 43, attended Lincoln High School in Brooklyn before spending one season at Georgia Tech. Minnesota selected him No. 4 overall in 1996. Marbury played with five teams in his NBA career, though his five seasons and 287 games played with the Knicks are the most he spent with any one team.
He averaged 18.2 points and 7.0 assists with New York.