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Artwork Of Tracy McGrady, James Harden, Houston logo being painted over in Shanghai

Rockets, Tracy McGrady, James Harden

The fallout surrounding Daryl Morey’s tweet about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong is continuing to grow, as one indoor arena in China has reportedly decided to paint over several works of art, including those that feature Tracy McGrady, James Harden and the Rockets logo itself.

Morey sent the now-deleted tweet during his trip to Tokyo with the Rockets. In the caption, he wrote “Fight For Freedom” and “Stand With Hong Kong.” This tweet created quite a bit of online criticism, especially from Chinese citizens.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke with Kyodo News in Tokyo ahead of Tuesday’s preseason game between the Rockets and Toronto Raptors in Saitama. He says there was an economic impact related to Morey’s tweet. Ultimately, though, Silver supports Morey’s ability to express his opinion:

“There is no doubt, the economic impact is already clear,” Silver said via kyodonews.net. “There have already been fairly dramatic consequences from that tweet, and I have read some of the media suggesting that we are not supporting Daryl Morey, but in fact we have.”

“I think as a values-based organization that I want to make it clear…that Daryl Morey is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression.”

Morey has since backed off from his original post and sent out an apologetic message:

Thanks in large part to players like Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin, the NBA has grown exponentially in China. The Rockets have enjoyed close ties with the country, as Ming was once the face of the franchise. Tracy McGrady and James Harden enjoyed a similar sort of popularity.

Silver is planning to meet with Ming in the near future to work toward a resolution, according to a report from ESPN’s Rachel Nichols: