LeBron James pressured Adam Silver to punish Rockets GM Daryl Morey for controversial tweet
While LeBron James remained quiet during his week-long trip to China as part of two exhibition games against the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers star was pushing NBA commissioner Adam Silver to take some stern action against Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, whose pro-Hong Kong tweet caused a firestorm that put the NBA China Games in a precarious stage.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, one of the four Los Angeles-based reporters to follow the Lakers in China, noted James was among the players to speak up and demand that Morey be punished for his tweet.
“Nearly a week ago today, in a Shanghai hotel room, or Shanghai hotel ballroom, Adam Silver got up and addressed the players, and LeBron James is one of the players who got up and spoke and said, ‘Hey, what are we doing here? Daryl Morey made these statements,’” McMenamin recalled on air Tuesday. “You know damn well if a player made the same statements and caused such poor ramifications for the league, there would be some sort of league recourse or repercussions that the player has to pay.
“Potentially this tweet could cost the league hundred of millions of dollars, which could come out of the players’ pockets — so that was the double-standard that was being addressed in that meeting.”
This would explain James’ irate reaction when asked of his thoughts on the NBA-China controversy on Monday, immediately pointing the finger at Morey, considering that Silver kept from fining the GM or the organization.
Silver would be walking a very thin line by fining Morey, considering that his opinions on social media weren’t attacking a certain group or meant to be offensive. China taking offense to the tweet falls well outside of Silver’s realm of jurisdiction, and even if King James wanted to demand a punishment, the league commissioner couldn’t possibly stretch that far from his power to do so.