LeBron James Says He Knew People Would Take His Hong Kong Commentary Out Of Context

LeBron James once again responded to criticism after he finally spoke publicly about the fiasco the NBA found itself in after Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support of Hong Kong protesters, putting a strain on business relations between the league and China.

James finally spoke publicly on Monday before a Lakers preseason game, saying that Morey was “misinformed” about the situation. The comments drew immediate backlash, and James later clarified his meaning on Twitter, which did little to stifle the criticism. Speaking with the media on Tuesday, James one again tried to “clarify” his thoughts on the situation.

“I do, and that’s why I wanted to kind of clarify what my thoughts was and what my words was,” James told reporters. “That tends to happen with me, I understand that and I know that every word that I say is gonna be broken down on however you feel or you see [that] I said it. It comes with the territory, and that’s OK. with me.

Word came out on Monday that James spoke out at a players-only meeting between the Lakers and Nets, who were playing an exhibition game in China while the NBA dealt with the fallout from Morey’s tweet. Later in the day, James angered some by telling the media Morey wasn’t fully “educated” on the situation, which many boil down to a free speech issue and are worried about supporting for fear of hurting the NBA’s business interests.

James was asked multiple questions about the situation and said he didn’t feel comfortable speaking about an international issue he didn’t know much about.

Obviously it’s a tough situation that we’re all in right now as an Association, as us as athletes, owners, GMs, whatever, so for. And I think when an issue comes up, if you feel passionate about it or you feel like it’s something you wanna talk about then so be it. I also don’t think that every issue should be everybody’s problem as well. When things come up, there’s multiple things that we haven’t talked about that happen in our own country that we don’t bring up. There’s things that happen in my own community that … trying to help my kids graduate high school and go off to college has been my main concern over the last couple of years, and my school, trying to make sure that the inner city kids that grow up in my hometown have a brighter future and look at me as an inspiration to get out of the hellhole of the inner city. We don’t talk about those stories enough, but we tend to wanna talk about so many other things as well. But there’s issues all over the world, and I think the best thing we can do is, if you feel passionate about it, talk about it, if you’re not, if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about it or you don’t quite understand it, I don’t think you should talk about it, because it just puts you in a tough position.

James is trying to change a narrative that’s put the NBA in a negative light for many, with politicians, journalists and fans on all sides upset for one reason or another. It’s clear he feels his initial statement wasn’t accurately perceived in the public eye, but it’s unclear if the clarification helped anything just yet.