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‘Growing fears’ Lakers-Nets preseason NBA games in China will be cancelled

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The NBA is currently in the midst of some serious controversy as the league’s relationship with China, a country that closely follows professional basketball in the United States. Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted some thoughts in support of Hong Kong protestors — a sensitive topic in China — over the weekend, which has made things quite complicated as the NBA is currently planning to host a slew of events in China this offseason. With this situation still evolving, Marc Stein of The New York Times recently had the following to say regarding an upcoming preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in China:

“In discussions I’ve had over the past few days with a number of well-placed observers, who are familiar with both the Chinese landscape and N.B.A. dealings, there are growing fears that government officials will cancel the two games. Various sponsors, media outlets and the Chinese Basketball Association itself — led by the former Rockets great Yao Ming — have already vowed to have nothing to do with the Rockets for the foreseeable future.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has since commented on the ongoing situation between the league and China.

“I’m sympathetic to our interests here and our partners that are upset,” Silver said, via The New York Times. “I don’t think it’s inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles.”

It remains to be seen as to how exactly all of this plays out, though it is definitely a priority of the NBA to sort this out before the start of the 2019-20 regular season.