During a press conference in Japan on Thursday, CNN reporter Christina Macfarlane asked - or rather, attempted to ask - Houston stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook about their approach to the heated global dispute and their level of comfort in speaking on political issues.
"Excuse me, we're taking basketball questions only", the representative said.
"I watched this guy, Steve Kerr, and he was like a little boy who was so scared to be even answering the question", Trump told reporters Wednesday when asked about Kerr's refusal to discuss the issue.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are in China, slated to play a game on October 10. But with billions at stake from things like merchandise sales and media rights, some experts are wondering if anything other than an apology from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will mend this fence, especially with the Chinese indicating that is what they want. However, China's state-run CCTV has canceled plans to air the games.
The fallout over Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet continues as at least 11 Nike stores in China have removed all Houston Rockets-related merchandise from their shelves, according to a Reuters report.
On Monday, standing with Westbrook after a practice in Tokyo, Harden said: "We apologize".
Curry was singled out in tweets by Trump in 2017 after he had said he would vote no if the team were invited to the White House. "We chose to leave shortly after that point because LETS GO NATS!"
"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker issued a mock apology to China on Monday, saying "Like the National Basketball Association, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We love everything there about them, and we appreciate the support that they give us individually and as [an] organization".
Vivo has released a statement on social media platform Weibo saying: "Vivo has always insisted on the principle that national interest is above all else and firmly opposes any remark and behavior that constitutes a challenge to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Everyone should [say] how they feel and their thought process, be able to speak it. "It was really disappointing and something I felt I couldn't ignore", he said.
Wednesday's game in Washington undoubtedly won't be the last time we hear about the Hong Kong protests, which were sparked in the semi-autonomous state during the summer over a bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to the mainland.