The tweet from Houston Rockets general manger Daryl Morey supporting protestors in Hong Kong continues to resonate in all corners of the sporting and political world. Though Morey himself may not receive punishment or sanction from the Rockets, China already cancelled exhibition games with the NBA’s G League over the matter and, on Tuesday, word broke that the country may be unwilling to allow another high-profile event to take place in the near future.
Marc Stein of the New York Times, as part of his e-mail newsletter, indicates that “there are growing fears that government officials will cancel” two preseason games involving the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. At this point, nothing is official but the games are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 12 and Stein cites “a number of well-placed observers, who are familiar with both the Chinese landscape and N.B.A. dealings.”
There are a number of considerations reportedly in play, ranging from media to the Chinese Basketball Association, with pointed remarks about the Houston Rockets and, proxy, the NBA itself. Because the Rockets are not directly involved, there may be hope to save these two exhibitions and Stein brings word that NBA commissioner Adam Silver is set to touch down in China “to begin face-to-face damage control with some of the aggrieved entities.”
In the grand scheme, it may not as seem as if two preseason games could act as pivot points in big-picture discussions. With that said, the timetable makes things tricky here and it will be exceptionally interesting to see how all parties move forward on what has turned into a volatile situation.