Roughly a week ago, the NBA world — and the rest of the sports world soon thereafter — was turned on its head by the coronavirus. It wasn’t long after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was revealed to have COVID-19 that the NBA suspended its season and collegiate and other professional leagues in the United States followed suit.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was quick to make up for the wages employees lost at American Airlines Center would lose because of the suspended NBA season. He also recently committed to donate more than $100,000 to area nonprofits amid the COVID-19 outbreak. While the United States and the world work through the coronavirus pandemic, Cuban — like many around the world — is hopeful the NBA and other leagues can return to play before too long.
Cuban was a guest on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday morning and said he views sports as a unifying factor that can help the country get back on its feet after coronavirus isolation ends.
— CNBC (@CNBC) March 19, 2020
“Hopefully when the NBA, the NHL, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, football, all start to really happen again, we’ll all get excited about our teams and as communities we’ll come together,” Cuban said. “Sports will be a vital mechanism for bringing people back together when this happens, and so, yeah, I’m excited for that, but in reality, basketball is the last thing on my mind right now.
“But I will say, we’re using the Mavericks to try to do as much as we can to keep people energized and engaged while everybody’s stuck at home.”
Cuban also spoke of how important the 2020 Olympics, which are set to begin July 24 in Tokyo, could be for the world at large.
“Here’s what I’ll say. We all use sports as a way to celebrate, a way to get excited, a way to come together,” Cuban said. “Nobody throws a parade when Apple or Google will have the most amazing quarter they’ve ever had, but when a team wins a championship, they throw a parade.
“And so hopefully we’ll have the  Olympics, and we’ll be able to come together as a country around our team, the U.S. Olympics team, and that’ll be great for us. We’ll all get out of the house, we’ll all celebrate together.”