NBA objects to Rockets' handling of media question about China

James Harden

On its Weibo page, Anta announced Tuesday that it would halt contract negotiations with the league. Chinese media said that they will not air Rockets games and the Chinese consulate in Houston released a statement condemning Morey and the team.

The NBA has a lot of financial stake within China, with speculation that the salary-cap figure for the 2020-21 NBA season could be impacted due to this apparent rift between the Chinese government and the NBA.

Daryl Morey, the Rockets' General Manager, recently drew China's ire after posting an image on Twitter that read, "Fight For Freedom".

Following the signs being taken away, Wachs stood up and yelled "Free Hong Kong" during the second quarter.

Since Morey's tweet, The NBA, the Rockets, and even star James Harden have been attempting to subdue the situation as Chinese groups expressed their dismay.

The protests in Hong Kong were sparked by a proposed extradition law that would have allowed suspects to be sent to China to face trial.

Boyajian said: "Honoured to stand with friends tonight defending free speech in America, standing in solidarity with Hong Kong, and speaking out against CCP bullying and the NBA's embarrassing behaviour".

In April, Anta Sports completed the acquisition of Amer Sports, whch includes Salomon, Arc'teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Suunto, Wilson and Precor.

"We're strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver's claim to support Morey's right to freedom of expression", CCTV said in a statement.

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Neither have they given their own opinion on the demonstrations in Hong Kong, which have been going on for more than four months and have been one of the world's biggest stories of the year.

He added: "I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention".

"I'm sympathetic to our interests here and our partners that are upset", Silver said.

China retaliated by shutting down "South Park" discussion forums and removing clips and episodes of the show from its internet, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

China has reacted strongly to the comments, canceling events during a visit to the country by the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets for two preseason games. "Now, it is mostly yellow and blue", the colours of the Golden State Warriors, said a manager at the Shanghai Playzone, who like the National Basketball Association store employee declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta also distanced the organization from Morey's initial comment.

Silver declined to apologize for the tweet, but said that he regretted the consequences.

The commissioner's attempt to toe the line backfired on both fronts, as many U.S. citizens are saying Silver did not actually take a position, and those from China see that move as a showing of the NBA's ignorance and xenophobia.

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