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Former NBA star Tim Duncan backs Bloomberg in new ad

Former NBA player Tim Duncan announced his support of presidential candidate Michael BloombergMichael BloombergPress: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship 5 former Treasury secretaries back Biden's plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy MORE in a new ad released by the campaign Wednesday.

Duncan, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, highlighted the former New York City mayor’s efforts to help the islands recover after they were hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

“There was widespread destruction. Food and water were running low. The people of the islands needed help,” Duncan says in the ad.

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“Mike and his team among many others acted fast to aid in feeding, clothing and getting people to safety,” he added. “And in this, Mike Bloomberg showed his true compassion for helping those in need.”

The Bloomberg campaign confirmed last year that it would be opening a field office in the Virgin Islands, a move uncommon for primary candidates. 

The former mayor’s campaign also released an ad Wednesday that compiled praise given to him by fellow candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE. The former vice president responded on Twitter, saying, “I don’t endorse Republicans.”

The ads came out hours ahead of Bloomberg's first 2020 Democratic debate appearance Wednesday night in Las Vegas.