Lakers star LeBron James believes Rockets GM Daryl Morey was misinformed in China tweet
Morey voiced support on Twitter for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. A lot of damage has already been done because of Morey’s tweet.
“I believe he was misinformed and not educated on the situation,” LeBron James said on the Morey tweet. LeBron added Morey’s tweet was dangerous. LeBron said he is uncertain about the future ramifications of the Morey tweet with the NBA and players.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 15, 2019
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri wrote a letter asking NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to cancel exhibition games in China. The Lakers and Brooklyn Nets still played in China, although players didn’t speak to the media.
As of February in 2018, NBA China was valued at more than $4 billion, or $133 million in value for each of the 30 teams, according to Mike Ozanian of Forbes. The NBA signed a five-year, $700 million deal back in 2015 with Tencent — a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company — to carry NBA games in China. The NBA signed an extension with Tencent in July of 2019 worth $1.5 billion over five years.
LeBron, the face of the NBA, spoke with Silver in China and stated Silver and the NBA needed to explain and articulate their position first before the players would have to. James then led a joint players-only meeting after the session with Silver.
The New York Times reported last week the government of China has been trying to tamp down public anger at the NBA because there were concerns beginning to surface that the rhetoric was damaging China’s interests and image around the world.