Why NBA's China ties may hinge on Rockets GM Daryl Morey's future

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors Tuesday Oct. 8 2019 in Saitama near Tokyo

Yao Ming ‘extremely hot’ over NBA’s China crisis, says Silver

Silver - who has defended Morey's right to free expression and refused to apologise - was due to arrive in Shanghai on Wednesday for a visit now expected to focus on damage control.

[Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner]: "I think it's unfortunate, but if that's the consequences of us adhering to our values, we still feel it's critically important we adhere to those values".

The Philadelphia 76ers said two fans were removed from the stands at Tuesday's preseason game for "their continuing disruption of the fan experience", but the fans say they were kicked out for showing support for Hong Kong.

But the only true apology so far came from Rockets star James Harden, the 2017-18 NBA MVP who tried to fix things by insisting, "We love China".

Later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver clarified the league's stance, saying that he won't censor players or team owners over China or other issues, arguing that the league is motivated by much more than money, and freedom of expression must be protected. State-run CCTV said it was "strongly dissatisfied" with Silver's remarks, adding that it would suspend all National Basketball Association game broadcasts and review its overall relationship with the league, while state-owned English language newspaper China Daily penned an editorial accusing Silver of "brazenly endorsing Morey's secessionist-supporting tweet". "It is not the role of the N.B.A.to adjudicate those differences", Silver said in a statement.

Pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets of the city over fears that Beijing is undermining Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" formula, which gives residents greater freedom than mainland Chinese. The NBA then released a statement Monday, essentially caving into China's "don't mess with our politics or we'll start divesting money" demands, chiding Morey for his statement, which has since been deleted.

"It is inevitable that people around the world - including from America and China - will have different viewpoints over different issues", Silver said.

The NBA has been steeped in controversy after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey accidentally created an global conflict when he tweeted a picture showing solidarity for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"You need to fire him and you need to fire him fast", Crutchfield said.

He comments on CCTV's decision to cancel the broadcast of NBA's pre-season games. He accused the two coaches of "pandering" to China, though on October 1 Trump himself tweeted a congratulations to the People's Republic of China for 70 years of communist rule.

"I don't know why political conflicts affect sporting events".

On Wednesday, Curry seemed perplexed when asked why Trump has called the team out. "Something this big that involves the entire landscape of the league and of course with a country like China, like that's something you're not walking into lightheartedly saying stuff off the cuff". "The one thing that you don't mess with is Chinese government, and unfortunately not everyone in the USA understands the global power that China is". It's something I'm reading about, just like everybody is.

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