The message via Twitter of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, in support of Hong Kong protesters, was removed from the social network but still causing problems in the diplomatic relationship between China and the NBA.
Adam Silver, commissioner of the American league, said his organization will not apologize for the message of the leader of the Rockets for the right of the leader to exercise his freedom of expression.
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Soon after, CCTV – China's state television – canceled the broadcast of the games between Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, which will be played this Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen.
The measure is a blow, given that the Asian country has a large fanatic audience of the most important basketball league worldwide.
In addition, the meetings attracted the presence of LeBron James in the Californian team and because Joe Tsai, the head of the Alibaba e-commerce platform, is also the owner of the New York neighborhood franchise.
Now, the controversy reached the high command in the United States, where the president himself spoke at a press conference about the situation and launched harsh criticism for coaches Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs and Steve Kerr of Golden State Warriors for consider them "complacent" with China.
"I see this guy, Steve Kerr, who looked like a little boy afraid of answering a question, he couldn't answer it, he was shaking." Oh … oh … oh … I don't know, "I didn't know how to answer the question, but he spoke very badly about the United States, "Trump shot.
"I see Popovich and it was more of the same, but he didn't look so fearful. They speak badly about the United States, but when it comes to talking about China, they don't say anything bad. I think it's pretty sad," he added about the former coach of Emanuel Ginobili in the Texan team, which also avoided directly discussing the specific issue regarding the protests in Hong Kong, although he praised Adam Silver for his position of support for freedom of expression.
On the conflict itself, Trump felt that the NBA itself would have to resolve it since it is an issue that affects its organization.
Meanwhile, all official Chinese NBA partners suspended ties with the league as a result of the controversial Morey tweet.
The Chinese NBA lists 11 fully-owned Chinese companies as its official partners in the country on its website, which now say they have suspended business with the league.
Source: EFE, AP