Chinese Government Wanted NBA to Fire Daryl Morey

The NBA-China controversy was a black eye for the NBA, but luckily they avoided making things even worse in the public eye. After Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sparked the controversy by showing his support for Hong Kong protesters, the Chinese government reportedly had a request.

According to NBA commissioner Adam Siver, the Chinese government had asked him to remove Morey from the Rockets organization.

Siver immediately declined.

“We were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with in government and business,” Silver said while speaking at the TIME 100 Health Summit. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

Immediately after the controversy began, the NBA issued a statement that had its critics.

“The NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues,” Silver said in a statement. “Essentially, what I’ve said in that statement is the long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and certainly freedom of expression by members of the NBA community. And in this case, Daryl Morey, as the general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees.”

NBA stars around the league also caught heat for declining to comment on the controversy, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James catching the most heat.

“We all talk about this freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech. But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself,” James told the media. “I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with … with Daryl Morey. But I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.”

Those comments even got a response from Senator Ted Cruz.

With how much unnecessary drama and headaches that have been caused by the NBA-China mess, you know everyone around the league is eager for the regular season to kickoff.

Astros vs Yankees Live Stream: Watch ALCS Game 4 Online
Astros vs Yankees Live Stream: Watch ALCS Game 4 Online
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