Mark Cuban was just as shocked about the postponement of the 2019-20 NBA season as we all were.
The Mavericks owner attended his team's 113-97 win over the Nuggets on Wednesday night, which became the last NBA game of the evening when the Pelicans-Kings game in Sacramento was canceled due to coronavirus concerns. ESPN's broadcast of the Mavs game captured the moment Cuban learned the season had been postponed after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
Mark Cuban reacts moments after the NBA season was suspended. pic.twitter.com/4g8Z7yLts6— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
"This is crazy. This can't be true," Cuban told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi when asked about his reaction. "I mean, it's not within the realm of possibility. It seemed more like out of a movie than reality."
Cuban noted the Mavs' plan regarding coronavirus was to defer to the NBA, which on Wednesday night took swift action once Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. The Jazz's game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City was immediately postponed along with the rest of the league's season.
"I trust (NBA commissioner) Adam (Silver)," Cuban added. "It's really not about basketball or money. Literally 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 really wanna make sure you're doing this the right way 'cause now it's much more personal. Just, stunning isn't the right word. Just crazy."
"This is crazy. This can't be true. ... It seemed more like out of a movie than reality."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
—Mark Cuban explains his reaction to hearing that the NBA was suspending its season. pic.twitter.com/MHyrAD4D0f
Unprompted, Cuban during his interview with Rinaldi mentioned his team would construct a payment plan for the employees who work for the Mavs on an hourly basis.
Understandably unable to provide specific details, he expanded on that plan after the game.
“I reached out ... to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren’t going to be able to come to work.”— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
–Mark Cuban on his plan for Mavericks employees during the NBA suspension pic.twitter.com/McOl1vHUqO
Gobert, 27, is expected to recover. The NBA's concern is more about the possibility of the virus infecting those with whom he has come in contact over the last week or so. A total of 34 different players have shared floor with Gobert since Friday.
The length of the NBA season suspension is indefinite. A source told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press that the league expects to be shut down for at least two weeks, but that timeframe is "very fluid."