Brooklyn Nets Owner Joe Tsai, and Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gorres usually compete against each other during the NBA season but now they find themselves fighting against a common opponent, COVID-19. The two are teaming up to donate and deliver 350,000 KN95 masks and 100,000 medical goggles to Detroit. Mayor Duggan said the donation will help more than just first responders.
“We are grateful for Joe and Clara’s commitment to Detroit and proud to be their partner in bringing additional medical supplies to our community,” said Mr. Gores. “The NBA family continues stepping up in the fight against COVID-19.”
The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation sourced and imported the PPE supplies from China and worked with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to allocate the supplies, with the Pistons organization arranging to provide logistics and support to ensure delivery
“It’s also going to help with a lot of small entrepreneurs because by now the big hospitals and major companies have found a way to get PPE. It’s a lot of the small players that can’t do it…This is going to help the small business community.”
“Many cities in America have been hit hard by the pandemic. Clara and I wish to help the people of Detroit get through these difficult times, and we are grateful that Tom and his organization readily stepped up to help us distribute the supplies,” said Mr. Tsai. “We have a history of friendship with Detroit and I want to thank Mayor Duggan for directing the PPE to where they are needed most.”
Tsai, who is also a co-founder of Alibaba, said he’s been fond of Detroit since hosting a small business conference in 2017.
“We chose Detroit to be the place because Detroit really represents that rugged small business character,” said Tsai. “I still remember my wife and I had dinner at the Selden Standard and then she wanted to go to the Avalon Bakery to buy bread…a lot of small businesses in this environment need support.”
The Michigan Chronicle previously reported on Goldman Sach’s contribution to Detroit small businesses. The mayor said this goes to show Detroit is a key player nationally and globally.
“This is a reminder of how important Detroit has become to the world in recent years. Last week we had the CEO of Goldman Sachs on…and now we’ve got one of the world’s great companies Alibaba doing this,” said Duggan.
Alibaba is currently evaluating Detroit as a possible distribution center.