Report: All indications are Lakers-Nets game in China will go on as scheduled
As of now, all indications are the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets game in China on Thursday will go on as scheduled, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey voiced support on Twitter for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. As a result, the NBA’s relationship with China is now up in the air.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 9, 2019
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley wrote a letter asking NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to cancel exhibition games in China. Looks like Silver and his camp didn’t agree with Hawley’s point.
As of February 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 in Tencent in July of 2019 worth $1.5 billion over five years.
Adam Silver said on Monday the NBA has already had a substantial economic impact from Morey’s tweet. The Chinese Basketball Association has reportedly already canceled exhibition games involving the Rockets’ G League affiliate.
This is still a fluid situation, but the relationship between China and the NBA is pretty tense right now.