PUBLISHED May 2, 2020 | News
Basketball Hall of Famer
I was in New Orleans on March 11 and had just finished the pre-game broadcast for the Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings. We knocked out the half-hour show like we normally do and I was walking out of the studio and our bosses said, “You have to go back in. They just suspended the season.”
It happened so quickly. We were back on air within a few minutes and explaining what was happening: the basketball season was suspended because of COVID-19. Once that happened, I had 17 flights to cancel. I was supposed to be traveling through September for various television and speaking appearances and NBA commitments but now it was, “Cancel, cancel, cancel.”
As all of this was happening, I was working on getting my son, T.J., back home to Dallas. He plays professional basketball in Israel and I wanted to get him back in the U.S. before stricter travel restrictions were put in place.
When he was safe and back at the house, we began making workout videos together and sharing them on social media. We wanted to show people that they could still exercise even if they don’t have the money to buy free weights or resistance bands. We did curls with milk bottles and cartons of orange juice.
Then on garbage day, we borrowed some trash bins from our neighbors and lined a row of them across the street. Our neighbors watched us — from safe distances, of course — as T.J. and I played in what we called the “Quebec Open” because we live on Quebec Lane.
At the same time, my foundation, Nancy Lieberman Charities, began to implement plans to serve first responders and local businesses in north Texas. I’m proud to say that in the last month, we have provided hundreds of lunches for Dallas police officers and firefighters as well as doctors and nurses at the Baylor Scott and White Hospital.
Muhammad Ali was a lifelong friend and mentor. He would often say, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your time on earth.” I truly believe that and I will continue to do what I can to help us get through these unprecedented times.
The most important thing right now is that people stay safe and healthy. We’re not sure what is going to happen yet with the rest of the basketball season, but I can’t wait to see everyone back on the courts again. We want to be able to play. We want to be able to do what we do best.