The NBA found itself wading into geopolitical waters earlier this week following a tweet sent by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. While the tweet did not have any words, it did feature an image showing his support for anti-government, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. This caused the NBA to get in some hot water with China, a major financial partner with the league.
There was plenty that occurred in the aftermath of Morey’s tweet. This has included, but certainly has not been limited to, league events occurring in China getting canceled and games being pulled from television. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has spoken on how this has impacted the league’s bottom line, and a report indicates teams are preparing for a potential salary cap dip in the aftermath.
Silver has tried to thread the needle between the NBA being a league based in the democratic United States that also has major business interests in China. Seeing as how the league has drawn the ire of both American politicians and the Chinese government, that hasn’t quite happened. Silver, now back stateside, briefly discussed the controversy on Thursday with Robin Roberts at the TIME 100 Health Summit.
At one point, Silver let it be known that the Chinese government, along with businesses abroad, requested that the league fired Morey, which is something that did not happen.
“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”
Silver also discussed how all of this has continued to impact the league financially, noting that games are not being broadcast in China and telling Roberts “the losses have already been substantial.” As for a possible resolution to that, Silver said that he is unsure “where we go from here.”