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Adam Silver disagrees that NBA should disengage with China

Adam Silver, NBA, China

The tension between the NBA and China has somewhat reached a boiling point after a Chinese state-run television has threatened retribution against the league’s Commissioner Adam Silver.

The shocking development comes after Silver refused to discipline Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey for his support for the Hong Kong protesters in a now-deleted tweet.

Despite some urging from the general public about possibly cutting ties with its biggest Asian market, Silver still believes that the seemingly irreparable relationship can still be sorted out.

“I hear some people saying that we should disengage from China,” he said, per Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal.  “I respectfully disagree.”

“My personal belief is that isolationism doesn’t make sense in this highly interconnected world. We have no choice but to engage and to attempt to have better understanding of other cultures and try to work through issues. What better way than through sports?” The league executive explained.

Apart from the substantial financial losses caused by the rift, the Rockets are still currently banned across all Chinese airwaves. Tencent Sports streaming platform has restored NBA games, which is a good start towards reconciliation for both parties.

“In the language of diplomacy, we do not have official relationships again yet with our counterparts in China,” Silver said. “I’m hoping that as two weeks have now gone by, and there seem to be further signals of de-escalation, that we can begin renewing those relationships,” he said.

“I think there’s a wait-and-see approach from many of our partners in China as to how soon things begin to normalize again. There’s still a lot unknown, and we’re literally playing it day-by-day.”