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James Harden throws support for Adam Silver, freedom of speech

James Harden, Rockets, China, Freedom of Speech, Adam Silver, NBA

James Harden backed up Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and consequently NBA commissioner Adam Silver, going back from his previous meek response to Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet and the reaction from China.

“We all have freedom of speech, that is the world we live in,” said Harden, according to Reuters. “Everyone should (say) how they feel and their thought process, be able to speak it. Obviously some people are going to feel some type of ways, others are going to agree. That is just the world we live in. I am here for Adam Silver.”

Harden and Silver were put under heavy criticism by the U.S. media, as The Beard was previously apologetic in his last statement, saying Morey surely didn’t mean to offend any of the Chinese fans and how much Harden, his teammates, and fellow NBA players love China.

Silver had a similar initial response at the wake of a firestorm that started when Morey posted a since-deleted image on his Twitter page that read: ““Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” Yet his second comments, which he made in Japan prior to the preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, led to a stern response from CCTV, company which airs the vast majority of NBA games in China.

That response elicited a third set of comments from Silver, this time in a full-fledged statement, throwing his full support for Morey, who spoke his mind as many coaches and executives have done in the past.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta opted to completely separate himself from the issue, noting Morey’s tweet did not speak for the Rockets, and that his team is not a political organization.