Gregg Popovich has an opinion on NBA-China controversy, Adam Silver

Gregg Popovich has an opinion on NBA-China controversy, Adam Silver

Marriott issued one. So did Delta. His post sparked political controversy when he voiced his support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Silver and the National Basketball Association initially responded to Friday's tweet with statements that American politicians branded as caving into China.

"If Silver thinks endorsing the indiscriminate violence the radical Hong Kong protesters are resorting supporting freedom of expression, then he should think again", it said.

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

The NBA is facing backlash from China over a tweet sent by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of protesters in Hong Kong and over comments made by Silver in support of Morey, free speech and NBA values.

"I don't think it's inconsistent, on one hand, to be sympathetic to them, and at the same time, stand by our principles", Silver added.

Morey attempted to clarify his position in subsequent tweets, which some, including Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, the Taiwanese-Canadian co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, considered an apology.

In the aftermath, Rockets star player James Harden apologized for the tweet, saying "we love China".

"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 and misunderstanding them was not my intention".

The question is, how long? The Rockets in particular have started seeing their support in China crushed.

"And it wasn't easy for him to say", Popovich said. I think he was speaking as a US citizen on this occasion. "One man, one tweet". For now, those games are expected to be played.

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. Chinese companies began abandoning the Rockets and TV networks said they would not show Rockets games in China.

Tencent isn't the only company distancing itself from business dealings with the National Basketball Association.

Listen, China, you don't get to tell us or our citizens what they can and cannot say. "It's nearly like a Chinese lockout".

The NBA's lucrative interests in China are under threat, but the league enjoys an important piece of leverage that could carry it through the crisis: it's the only game in town. And I'm thinking this is going to go on for a while. That angered both sides: The league was criticized by some fans and USA politicians for appearing to compromise its principles, and condemned by others in China for offending national sensibilities.

"I live and die with my team", said the post by the 25-year-old, identified only by his surname Wang.

CTrip, China's biggest online travel website, said Tuesday that it "dropped all NBA-related tickets and travel products" from its platform. The teams can survive without their money.

The game's popularity in China has soared since. The typically cited numbers are that 300 million Chinese play basketball and 500 million watch the NBA.

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