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REPORT: Sixers plan to go ahead with China exhibition game as planned

Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t letting the recent controversy with the NBA and China ruin their preseason plans.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is embroiled in controversy after he tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors — a sensitive topic in China. The Chinese Basketball Association has cut ties with Houston due to the issue, and China is threatening to sever ties with the NBA.

Despite this, however, the Sixers announced that their preseason game against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions in China will push through.

“The game will go on as planned,” Senior Vice President of Communications and team spokesperson Dave Sholler said on Monday, via Philly Voice. “We played in China last year, and it was an incredible experience for our team and our organization, we felt that support all of last year into this year. We love our fans there, their passion and intensity they have for our sport, and I think most importantly the game of basketball possesses an incredible power to bring people together. And as we play the Lions together, that’s what this is about.”

This situation obviously puts the Sixers in a tough spot as the Eastern Conference franchise does not have any direct connection to Morey or his political views.

“It’s a complex issue,” Sholler added. “We met this morning with our team and our coaches, and under Elton Brand’s leadership we have very thoughtful dialogue throughout the course of the year on a variety of issues, whether it’s societal issues, game issues, sports issues, whatever it may be. From our perspective, we think the opportunities we have in China are fantastic, we love the support that we’ve seen, and tomorrow is a fantastic opportunity to showcase that.”

The NBA draws a large audience from China, hence the league’s willingness to take the game overseas. As a result, Morey’s recent tweet makes this situation quite tricky considering the popularity of the teams involved.