Adam Silver: China Wanted Daryl Morey to Be Fired

The Chinese government wanted Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to lose his job over a tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, reports NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The League flatly rejected the suggestion, says Silver, and wouldn’t even entertain disciplining Morey for expressing his views.

The political firestorm has resulted in “substantial” financial losses for the NBA, according to Silver.

Per The AP:

“Obviously, we made clear that we were being asked to fire him by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said Thursday during an appearance at the Time 100 Health Summit in New York. “We said, ‘There’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.’”

Silver also said he isn’t sure what will happen to the NBA’s relationship with China, which has been growing steadily over the last three decades.

“I felt we had made enormous progress in terms of building cultural exchanges with the Chinese people,” Silver said. “Again, I have regret that much of that was lost. And I’m not even sure where we’ll go from here.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not air the two NBA preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets last week. Tencent, which has a $1.5 billion deal to stream NBA games in China over the next five years, has also stopped showing Rockets games but has not totally dropped all NBA content.

“The losses have already been substantial,” Silver said. “Our games are not back on the air in China, as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”

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