China fallout 'dramatic' for NBA finances

Tanya Simon
October 18, 2019

Haber said Silver's remarks and the NBA's continued heavy presence in mainland China were "ultimately contradictory", because the Chinese government does not respect freedom of speech.

Silver also said the Chinese government has asked that Morey, who was named the NBA's executive of the year in 2018, be fired for the tweet.

"China will definitely take strong countermeasures in response to the wrong decisions by the United States side to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests", Shuang said.

Morey's tweet - posted on October 4 before being quickly deleted, and reading, "Fight for Freedom".

LeBron James is facing one of the most contentious moments in his career after making controversial comments about the NBA's response to the protests in Hong Kong. They're taking heat for appearing to prioritize those financial interests over the human rights issues in Hong Kong and Morey's ability to speak freely on the issue.

During a March interview, Silver said "we are living in a time of anxiety" and that "a lot of players are unhappy", thanks largely to social media and the proliferation of personalized technology.

"There was no regret directed to the government (but instead) to our fans, hundreds of millions of them in China".

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"I understand there is a point of view from some that we shouldn't be in business at all in China, and I'd say from an intellectual standpoint, that's fair - not getting into whether the tweet or the response to it", Silver said.

Upon his return to the United States, Silver found it "confusing" that the National Basketball Association was still being excoriated for its reaction to Morey's tweet. Only because I had thought we'd taken a principled position.

An ESPN report on Tuesday indicated that Lakers star LeBron James advocated for Morey to receive some sort of punishment.

The fallout includes an impact on the league's visibility in China. "And he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially but emotionally, physically and spiritually". "Just be careful what we tweet, what we say and what we do". "Many multinational corporations do trade extensively with China". I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. "Could have waited to send it".

"The losses have already been substantial", he added.

Demonstrators hold up photos of LA Lakers superstar LeBron James grimacing during a rally in Hong Kong. "Maybe I was trying too hard to be a diplomat".

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