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Sport NBA in China: Concern grows that Lakers-Nets games will be cancelled

18:00  08 october  2019
18:00  08 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Will NBA games in China be cancelled ? Nation pulls plug on airing games , celebrities boycott. China will not air two preseason NBA games scheduled in China this week on TV and the Internet after NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s latest comments in Tokyo showing unwavering support for

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Concern grows that Lakers - Nets games in China will be cancelled | Helpful Problem After NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a

China will not air two preseason NBA games scheduled in China this week on TV and the Internet after NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s latest comments in Tokyo showing unwavering support for free speech and the growing rift between the league and China.

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China has had teams in the U.S. playing preseason games this week, the Rockets are about to play two games in Japan and the Los Angeles Lakers -- with one of the biggest global sports stars in LeBron James -- and Brooklyn Nets are set to play Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen

Various sponsors, media outlets and the Chinese Basketball Association itself — led by the former Rockets great Yao Ming — have already vowed to I was just in China for eight days covering the United States men’s national basketball team at the FIBA World Cup. Mere steps from my hotel in

There is concern the two games between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers will be cancelled, a person in China with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive situation.

In a lengthy statement, Silver tried to clarify the NBA’s stance, saying, “It is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues.  It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.

“However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.”

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Nets Daily: With 25 hours before game time, it’s looking unlikely the Nets and Lakers will play either of their preseason games in China . Tim Reynolds: NBA statement on Lakers - Nets media sessions, that were to happen in Shanghai right about now: "Given the fluidity of the situation, today’s media

An NBA game happened in China on Thursday. Superstars played like superstars, two key players left For the Lakers , Nets , and the NBA staffers in China , though, a return to the States is still a ways off As the league approaches its proposed restart date, the number of concerns continues to grow .

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In addition to not airing the games, Chinese actors, musicians and celebrities have withdrawn from NBA-related events, and a Nets’ scheduled visit to a school in China has been cancelled.

The rift between China and the NBA that began over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet showing support for pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong continues to grow, leaving the NBA in a sudden geopolitical crisis just before the start of the 2019-20 season.

The NBA tried to apologize to China for Morey’s tweet in a statement on Sunday, but two versions of the statement – one in English and one in Chinese – left more confusion. Silver and the NBA were also criticized for appearing to choose profit over freedom.

"I understand that there are consequences from that exercise of, in essence, his freedom of speech. We will have to live with those consequences," Silver told reporters in Tokyo.

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The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were greeted by cheers in their first preseason game in Shanghai A number of other events were canceled this week, including The NBA 's digital and TV partners in China had already announced they would not live-stream preseason games in the country.

Events in China promoting the Lakers - Nets series were cancelled , NBA media partner Tencent said it was evaluating its plans to cover the league, and China state broadcaster CCTV did not air either preseason game — despite the fact they would have likely drawn massive viewership in the

He is Tokyo for two preseason games between Houston and Toronto, and he is expected to be in China later this week.

Adam Silver wearing a suit and tie: NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors in Saitama, near Tokyo© The Associated Press NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors in Saitama, near Tokyo

Before meeting with reporters, Silver tried to clear up any discrepancies with his lengthy statement Tuesday.

“I recognize our initial statement left people angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for. Let me be more clear,” Silver’s statement began.

“Over the last three decades, the NBA has developed a great affinity for the people of China.  We have seen how basketball can be an important form of people-to-people exchange that deepens ties between the United States and China.

“At the same time, we recognize that our two countries have different political systems and beliefs.  And like many global brands, we bring our business to places with different political systems around the world.

“But for those who question our motivation, this is about far more than growing our business.

NBA postpones Nets-Lakers media sessions in Shanghai

  NBA postpones Nets-Lakers media sessions in Shanghai The NBA has postponed Wednesday's scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled. The teams were practicing in Shanghai on Wednesday, where at least two other NBA events in advance of the start of the China games were called off as part of the ongoing rift that started after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet last week that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong."Given the fluidity of the situation, today's media availability has been postponed," the league said.

The preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai will be played as scheduled, but the Chinese government has prohibited media availability for the players and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, according to ESPN's Rachel Nichols. The decision comes after Houston

The league was concerned China might cancel the preseason games , and several events around the game , including a Special Olympics event and press Silver conceded the NBA ’s initial response to the situation in China may have been too diplomatic, but ultimately, Silver stood firm in the face of

“Values of equality, respect and freedom of expression have long defined the NBA – and will continue to do so.  As an American-based basketball league operating globally, among our greatest contributions are these values of the game.”

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA in China: Concern grows that Lakers-Nets games will be cancelled

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