We are in uncharted waters. The NBA has shuttered its doors, leaving fans at a loss and plenty of workers in limbo. While there is nothing the Kings can do about the league-wide shutdown, they can and will take care of their own.
According to the team, the Kings will continue to compensate employees, at least through the end of March.
“We are committed to assisting all of our employees through this uncertain time. All part-time, hourly Kings event team members will be compensated for the shifts they were previously scheduled to work in March.”
We are committed to assisting all of our employees through this uncertain time. All part-time, hourly Kings event team members will be compensated for the shifts they were previously scheduled to work in March.— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 13, 2020
The Kings aren’t the first ownership group to step to the table. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced Thursday that the Mavs will continue to pay employees of the American Airlines Center as if games were still being played.
Former All-Star forward Kevin Love stepped up in Cleveland, vowing to donate $100,000 to help the workers of Quicken Loans Arena.
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Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming. Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities. Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need -- whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.
The NBA is on hiatus for a minimum of 30 days following Wednesday’s positive COVID-19 test by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive Thursday as well.
On Thursday evening, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent out the following message:
As you know, we have temporarily suspended our season in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We made this decision to safeguard the health and well-being of fans, players, everyone connected to our game and the general public. This hiatus will last at least 30 days and we intend to resume the season, if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.
In the meantime, we will continue to coordinate with infectious disease and public health experts along with government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming our games. As we develop the appropriate course for future NBA games and events, we will keep you informed of any changes as soon as they happen. Tickets already purchased for a postponed game will be honored when the game is rescheduled. If games are not played or played in an empty arena, teams will work with fans on a credit for a future game or a refund.
We encourage you to visit NBA.com for the latest news, updates and interactive features to stay connected to the game. You will also find guidelines on how to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
This remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation that reminds us that we are all part of a broader society with a responsibility to look out for one another. That is what the NBA will continue to do, and we are grateful for your understanding and for being the best fans in sports.
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Since the NBA took the unprecedented step of suspending the season, the NCAA, MLB, NHL and countless other professional sports leagues have followed suit, with the NCAA canceling March Madness altogether.
We are in uncertain times, but the NBA is leading the way. There is no word on whether the Kings or other franchises will honor their commitment to event staffing and employees once the calendar turns April. Like everything else, they likely will take these matters one step at a time.