Oct 9, 2019

Trump slams NBA for "pandering" to China amid Hong Kong controversy

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump criticized the NBA on Wednesday for "pandering to China" after the league issued an apology to Chinese fans over a controversial tweet from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, CNBC reports.

Between the lines: Trump has made similar concessions with China before, including in June when he reportedly told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the U.S. would remain silent on Hong Kong protests while trade talks continued, according to CNN.

What he's saying: "They have to work out their own situation. The NBA’s — they know what they’re doing," Trump told reporters.

Go deeper: Daryl Morey debacle raises awareness of threat of Chinese censorship

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Major Nike stores in China no longer selling Houston Rockets gear

A Chinese flag is seen placed on merchandise in the NBA flagship retail store this week in Beijing, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Merchandise from the NBA's Houston Rockets has been pulled from several Nike stores in China in the wake of a controversy over a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: China is Nike's top source of revenue growth, per Reuters. The Houston Rockets have an especially large following in China thanks to the success of Yao Ming, a former Rockets player who now heads the China Basketball Association.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

NBA braces for pro-Hong Kong protests as season kicks off

Pro-Hong Kong protesters hold signs at a Celtics-Cavaliers preseason game. Photo: Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The NBA is bracing for a wave of pro-Hong Kong protests during the opening week of its season thanks to the league's showdown with China over free speech, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: The NBA forbids signs with political messages at games, and most of its arenas have policies in place to eject fans for continued disruptive behavior — but a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ that the league "respects peaceful demonstrations and does not believe they will be a disruptive issue."

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Lebron James spins up another PR nightmare for the NBA's China controversy

Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

In his first comments since the Lakers returned from playing 2 exhibition games in China, LeBron James added another chapter to the NBA's ongoing saga — and created a PR nightmare.

Driving the news: James told reporters at Staples Center that Rockets GM Daryl Morey was "misinformed or not really educated" when he sent the pro-Hong Kong tweet heard 'round the world.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 15, 2019