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Adam Silver: NBA will more closely monitor translated official statements after Daryl Morey-Hong Kong-China situation

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How did the NBA feel about Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet, which supported Hong Kong protesters trying to maintain and expand their freedoms and triggered heavy-handed responses from China?

The answer might have depended on which language you speak.

In English, the league’s statement acknowledged that Morey offended people in China but also acknowledged his right to speak for himself.

In Mandarin, the league’s statement said the NBA was disappointed in Morey’s inappropriate comment.

The New York Times emphasized the discrepancy:

The league clarified that only its English statement was official. NBA commissioner Adam Silver eventually put out yet another statement more strongly supporting Morey’s freedom of expression.

Sports Business Journal:


A lesson learned there – and this is one we put into practice going forward – is that we will only have so-called approved translations. Because of all the issues that we were dealing with, I think there was absolutely no uncertainty in terms of what my words were in English, what the NBA’s words were in English. The fact that there multiple, frankly, Mandarin translations of it, and it, some cases, I don’t think people of ill will, but where the comma is, where the modifier is, was changing seemingly the meaning. I know, for example, The New York Times ran a story – I was still in China at the time – with a sort of side-by-side and said, “Aha, they’re saying one thing to the American. They’re saying something else in China.” There was zero intention of that, and that could have been solved with a so-called approved translation.

It’s good the problem is getting addressed going forward. But I still can’t understand how the league didn’t already have these protocols in place. Especially as a global business, the NBA should have always been concerned about how its official statements are being translated on its own channels. Otherwise, the league is effectively letting someone else speak for it.

The result of this error might be the NBA having its cake and eating it, too. An American audience saw Silver strongly support Morey’s freedom of expression. A Chinese audience saw Silver rebuke Morey. Everyone got what they wanted.

Though the NBA’s relations in China remain strained, I wonder how much more tension there’d be if not for the unapproved translation.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.