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Chinese Basketball Association suspends cooperation with Rockets after Daryl Morey’s Hong Kong tweet

Rockets, Daryl Morey

The Chinese Basketball Association has officially suspended cooperation with the Houston Rockets in the wake of Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet that supported protestors in Hong Kong (via ESPN):

The Chinese Basketball Association said Sunday on its Twitter-like Weibo account that Daryl Morey had made “improper remarks regarding Hong Kong” to which it expressed its “strong opposition.”

Morey deleted the tweet after Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta took to social media to clarify that Morey does not speak for the organization, and that the team does not act as a political organization.

Fertitta clarified that he is on good terms with Morey:

“I have the best general manager in the league,” Fertitta said. “Everything is fine with Daryl and me. We got a huge backlash, and I wanted to make clear that the organization has no political position. We’re here to play basketball and not to offend anybody.”

Fertitta’s efforts to encourage neutrality do not seem to have had the desired effect. The CBA was swift in ending their partnership with the Rockets.

The Rockets have been playing exhibitions against CBA teams for years, and they hosted the Shanghai Sharks at the Toyota Center on Monday. However, any future plans for exhibitions are likely to be cancelled immediately.

Despite the small controversy that Morey’s tweets have caused internally, the Rockets are focused on reaching the mountaintop this season.

The chemistry between Russell Westbrook and James Harden has been on full display during preseason activity, and Houston will be motivated to take on a loaded Western Conference.