The back-and-forth between the NBA and China over Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet has created an endless debate with no end in sight. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for Adam Silver and the NBA in that country, and now there are reports that there could be immediate consequences.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, there is a possibility that China could cancel hosting two NBA preseason games in light of their leadership’s anger over Morey’s tweet and Silver’s perceived support of the Rockets GM.
Via Marc Stein:
In discussions I’ve had over the past few days with a number of well-placed observers, who are familiar with both the Chinese landscape and N.B.A. dealings, there are growing fears that government officials will cancel the two games. Various sponsors, media outlets and the Chinese Basketball Association itself — led by the former Rockets great Yao Ming — have already vowed to have nothing to do with the Rockets for the foreseeable future.
Silver is scheduled to arrive in China on Wednesday to begin face-to-face damage control with some of the aggrieved entities. Among them is Yao himself; Silver has acknowledged that the Hall of Fame center is “extremely” angry.
“And I understand it,” Silver said.
This situation is going to get worse before it gets any better. Meanwhile, everyone’s trying to parse out what to make of it, with nothing clearer at the end of any discussion.
The future of the NBA in China is in great jeopardy. For now, we’ll just have to monitor the situation.