China cancels Brooklyn Nets' scheduled visit to a school

The Chinese Basketball Association — headed by Yao — has severed relations with the Rockets who played centre for the team for eight years. — Reuters pic

The Chinese Basketball Association — headed by Yao — has severed relations with the Rockets who played centre for the team for eight years. — Reuters pic

China on Tuesday pulled NBA exhibition games from television screens as the league faced an escalating punishment campaign in the lucrative Chinese market ignited by an American basketball executive's pro-democracy tweet.

Popovich, speaking before his San Antonio Spurs faced the Miami Heat in a preseason game, said he recognized that Silver is in a hard situation following the Chinese dismay over a tweet posted last week by Houston general manager Daryl Morey that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Silver, speaking in Japan on Tuesday, said he and the league are "apologetic" over the outcome and reaction that followed Morey's tweet, but he noted that "we are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression".

Police in Liaoyuan - in northeastern China's Jilin Province - detained Wang on Monday, the outlet said.

"When it comes to basketball in China, it's just the NBA", said Mark Dreyer, who runs the China Sports Insider website. "He has, without a doubt, seriously hurt the feelings of Chinese sports fans".

"After all, freedom of speech, '" the Global Times reported - not noting that Americans indeed have the freedom to praise the terrorist attacks without government retribution and that members of Congress have referred to them dismissively without going to prison.

It remains to be seen how badly the NBA's bottom line will be hit.

The rift between China and the National Basketball Association started late last week when Morey posted a tweet with an image that read: "Fight for Freedom".

But there has been no hint yet that the NBA's upcoming regular season games would be blacklisted, nor has a broader Weibo boycott of the league's coming season gained pace. "I believe China's position on it couldn't be clearer", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. According to CNN, China makes up 10% of the leagues revenue - a number that could grow to 20% by 2030.

The cancelation came after an NBA Cares event featuring the Brooklyn Nets and planned for a Shanghai educational center was canceled on Tuesday.

Listen, China, you don't get to tell us or our citizens what they can and cannot say.

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

A contrite Morey himself eventually took to Twitter, posting the following message: "I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event".

"We're strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver's claim to support Morey's right to freedom of expression".

While some defended Kerr's decision to avoid discussing issues he is not knowledgable on, others figures quickly rebuked his silence and suggested that he is hypocritical for frequently criticizing President Donald Trump but declining to comment on political matters that could impact the NBA's bottomline.

The Sixers were playing an exhibition game against a team from China too, so the league's ... Last week's episode, "Band in China", appeared to offend authorities so much that all traces of the show - episodes, clips, discussion groups and social media posts - vanished from major platforms in China.

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