CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers are officially on hiatus, as the NBA has suspended its season indefinitely as a measure against the coronavirus pandemic, leading the team's star player Kevin Love to step up in a big way, while his foundation is sharing tips to manage anxiety related to the illness.
As a result, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will be virtually empty, and the staff members normally called in to work games will be without a job. In the face of that adversity, the team's most-accomplished player has decided to help.
In a message posted to his Instagram account Thursday, Love has pledge $100,000 for the arena and support staff who are being forced to stay home. The funds will come through Love's foundation, and the six-time All-Star hopes "others will join me in supporting our communities."
"It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat," Love wrote, alluding to his own public battles with anxiety. "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."
Love foundation, the Kevin Love Fund, aims "to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing the tools to achieve physical and emotional well-being," according to the group's Instagram page.
On Friday, the fund account shared tips on dealing with anxiety related to the coronavirus, from Child Mind Institue, which is an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.
The advice included moderating news intake, taking care to arrange your work-from-home or self-quarantine space in a manner that is calming to you and practice deep breathing exercises or other methods of meditation.
The organization also reminds people to reach out for help from a mental health expert if needed, and noted that people can reach their Crisis Text Line by texting SHARE to 741741.
This is sound advice to keep in mind, as the Cavs aren't the only thing leaving Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the time being.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has banned most mass gatherings throughout the state to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Mid-American Conference canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments that were supposed to take place at the arena, and the NCAA later followed suit with "March Madness," which was supposed to hold first and second round games in Cleveland.
Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski said on Wednesday all part-time workers who were supposed to be employed for the MAC Tournament "will be compensated as if they had worked." It is not yet known what they team may do for workers from other events.
The NBA made the unprecedented decision to stop all games after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday. The Cavs hosted Utah just 11 days ago, but no players have been showing any symptoms.
Ohio is currently under a state of emergency with at least 13 confirmed coronavirus cases, although no deaths have been reported at this time.