DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – NBA fans’ world was flipped upside-down Wednesday evening as concerns over the novel coronavirus quickly escalated to the point of suspending the entire season.
There was no one as vocal about his reaction than Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban after the NBA’s decision came down in the middle of a game at American Airlines Center.
The league decided to suspend the season until further notice after Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 before the team’s game at Oklahoma City. That game was postponed right before tipoff.
The decision left Cuban visibly stunned as TV cameras captured his immediate reaction to learning about the suspension during the Mavericks game against the Denver Nuggets. The teams were able to finish that game with the Mavericks coming out on top.
Cuban later said during a press conference after the game that he understood why decision had to be made.
“This is people’s lives at stake. This isn’t about basketball, this isn’t about the Mavericks… this is a pandemic, a global pandemic where people’s lives are at stake. I’m a lot more worried about my kids and my mom who’s 82 years old and talking to her and telling her to stay in the house than I am about when we play our next game.”
The NBA said it will use this time to determine how it will proceed going further. There was about a month left in the regular season.
The NBA’s G League also suspended its season due to coronavirus concerns.
Cuban also said Wednesday evening that he wants to set up a program to financially assist hourly game day employees at American Airlines Center who will be forced to miss work due to the season being suspended.