NBA, NBPA, Cuban, Wade, MSG all donate big to Hurricane Sandy relief
By Ben Golliver
Some of the NBA’s biggest names are putting big dollars towards Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Last week, Sandy swept through the Northeast, causing widespread power outages, flooding and more than 100 deaths, according to CNN.com. The storm forced the postponement of a highly-anticipated season opener between the Knicks and Nets in Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena and there was some discussion as to whether a Friday night game between the Knicks and Heat at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan should be postponed too.
Instead, that game, as well as the rest of the NBA’s opening week lineup, was played as scheduled. Before tip off, Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony addressed the sellout crowd.
“It’s a most important time for the city to come together as one and help build the city back up,” he said, according to the New York Post. “So thank you for supporting the New York Knicks.”
Together, the NBA, its owners, teams and plays have pledged to donate millions of dollars to relief efforts. Here’s a brief rundown.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday that they would donate $1 million to the Red Cross and other aid organizations.
“Many homes and lives were devastated by Hurricane Sandy and our thoughts, abiding concerns and hopes are with all those affected,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “The NBA, the NBPA, our teams, and players are partnering with the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to support the relief efforts to help families and communities recover.”
ESPNNY.com reported that the Madison Square Garden company, owners of the Knicks, would donate $500,000 to Hurricane relief efforts.
“It’s a big game. It’s good for New York,” [MSG Chairman James] Dolan, who rarely speaks with the media, told a small group of reporters before the game. “A lot of people told me they were either coming or watching on TV. It will give people something to cheer about and take their minds off of things for a few hours.”
The New York Post reported that the Nets, the Barclays Center arena and its development company would donate a total of $300,000.
“We are together in this tough time and want Brooklynites to feel our support as we have felt yours during the team’s move to our new home [from New Jersey],” said Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov in a statement. “We are honored to be able to contribute to the rebuilding effort. I have no doubt, Brooklyn will survive and thrive.”
USA Today reported that Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, who wrote on Twitter that he thought Friday’s game should have been postponed, plans to donate his check for Friday’s game against the Knicks to charity. Wade, one of the NBA’s highest paid players, is on the books for $17.2 million this season. His donation is expected to total roughly $210,000, according to the paper.
“The money I make tonight can be left for a good cause,” he said. “I know a lot of people here. Knowing the things they have been through, it’s just mind-boggling. Miami is a place that is affected by hurricanes all the time so I know how the community can be impacted by it. It’s tough.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has pledged to donate $1 million to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, he announced Friday via Twitter.
“The more devastation I saw on TV the more I felt the need to contribute,” Cuban said in the e-mail.
The Nets were set to open the Barclays Center on Saturday against the Raptors. No further postponements or cancellations are expected as a result of the storm.