Supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement made their presence felt Friday as the Brooklyn Nets played their first game in New York since they were caught in the middle of the NBA's rift with China.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver
China demanded that a Houston Rockets executive be sacked for supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said.
China denied Friday that it demanded that the NBA fire a Houston Rockets executive over a tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
China demanded that a Houston Rockets executive be sacked for supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday, adding that the league's row with Beijing had "substantial" financial consequences.
Basketball superstar LeBron James has sharply criticised a Houston Rockets executive for angering China with a tweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong, saying the executive was "misinformed" and should have kept his mouth shut.
These NBA figures usually speaks up regarding political crisis elsewhere, but the fallout between NBA and China was just too intense and sensitive for them.
The NBA's lucrative interests in China are under threat, but the league enjoys an important piece of leverage that could carry it through the crisis: it's the only game in town.
NBA team owners passed stricter measures to force compliance with player tampering and salary cap rules on Friday after a wild off-season where several top stars changed clubs.