Sport: Report: China fallout could cost Rockets $10 million to $25 million - PressFrom - US

Sport Report: China fallout could cost Rockets $10 million to $25 million

23:05  09 october  2019
23:05  09 october  2019 Source:

NBA objects to Rockets’ handling of media question about China

  NBA objects to Rockets’ handling of media question about China The NBA said a Houston Rockets' employee "inappropriately interjected" to a reporter's question Thursday about the fallout from China.The reporter in the exchange was CNN anchor Christina Macfarlane.

The backlash from Chinese organizations in the wake of GM Daryl Morey's now infamous Hong Kong tweet could cost the Houston Rockets between $10 million and $25 million, according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen.

James Harden standing in front of a bridge: Getty© Getty Getty

In his story examining the financial consequences, Feigen writes:

The fallout could cost the Rockets between $10 million and $25 million, as well as American jobs in China, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The team has long been tight-lipped about the value of their Chinese business, but in recent years the franchise has typically partnered with five to seven Chinese companies with additional multinational companies seeking relationships with the Rockets to expand their brand into China.

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  Rockets: Back to the business of basketball The Rockets, their trip to Honolulu and Tokyo behind them, returned to the Toyota Center practice court ready to leave the controversy of the previous week behind, too. © Jae C. Hong, STF / Associated PressAfter taking a spin through Honolulu and Japan to play the Clippers and Raptors, James Harden and the Rockets are ready to focus on basketball and let the NBA deal with the fallout from Daryl Morey’s tweet about Hong Kong.

"There is no doubt, the economic impact is already clear," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week. "There have already been fairly dramatic consequences from that tweet."

Financially, a connection to China is also useful for the personal brands and endorsements of NBA players, which may have given the Rockets an advantage in their recruitment of star players over the last few seasons. For example, in Houston's free agency meeting with Dwight Howard in July 2013, former Rockets big man Yao Ming reportedly called in from China to assist in the presentation. Howard, of course, signed with the Rockets several days later.

Reporter is shut down when she tries to ask James Harden and Russell Westbrook about China

  Reporter is shut down when she tries to ask James Harden and Russell Westbrook about China CNN's Christina Macfarlane was shut down when she tried to ask the Rockets' James Harden and Russell Westbrook about China.For a brief recap: Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a seemingly innocuous tweet sending support to pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, which was swiftly met with fury by the Chinese government. Morey had to apologize, but he was not punished by the league, so Chinese state-run TV has now pulled Rockets games, and canceled events.

It remains to be seen if any of China's moves are permanent. On Monday, Rockets superstar James Harden attempted to mend fences with an apology to Chinese fans for the team's involvement in the controversy. Harden typically travels to China at least once per NBA offseason for endorsement purposes and to promote his brands.

The controversy all began early Saturday in Japan, when Morey tweeted an image in apparent support of a Hong Kong protest mopvement. The situation then escalated Sunday, when a number of Chinese sponsors and organizations suspended their ties with the Rockets over Morey's comments.

Then, on Tuesday, the scope of the backlash moved beyond just the Rockets and extended to the NBA as a whole. The expanded scope is critical for the Rockets, because it would put them at much less of a competitive revenue disadvantage relative to other teams than if the boycott was solely aimed at Houston.

NBA Says It Won't Regulate What Employees Say, as China Fallout Intensifies

  NBA Says It Won't Regulate What Employees Say, as China Fallout Intensifies NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed criticism that his response to a controversy over a tweet by a team executive deferred too much to Beijing’s views, even as a Chinese State broadcaster said it wouldn’t air two games scheduled for this week. © thomas peter/ReutersMr. Silver was addressing the controversy over a momentary show of support for Hong Kong antigovernment protesters by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in a tweet Friday. Mr. Silver said the league’s initial statement about China left people angered and confused, in a nod to criticism that it deferred too much to Beijing’s views.

The Rockets would still feel a disproportionately higher impact, if any boycott holds, because Houston has had a higher percentage of Chinese fans and revenues than most NBA teams since drafting Yao No. 1 overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. But if all teams are affected, at least to some degree, that's a far better scenario by comparison for the Rockets than what appeared to be the case earlier in the week.

According to ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Silver is seeking to meet with Yao regarding the situation. Yao is currently president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which is one of the groups to have cut ties with the Rockets following Morey's tweet.

But even with the consequences becoming more clear, Silver says he stands by Morey's rights to freedom of expression. "If those are the consequences of us adhering to our values, I still feel it's very, very important to adhere to those values," Silver said Tuesday.

'We love China': Rockets' Harden 'sorry' over GM's Hong Kong tweet

  'We love China': Rockets' Harden 'sorry' over GM's Hong Kong tweet Houston Rockets star James Harden on Monday apologised to China over a tweet by the team's general manager backing Hong Kong's democracy protests that cost the franchise TV exposure and sponsorship in the lucrative Chinese market. The team and the NBA were forced into defensive mode as China's state broadcaster said it was yanking Rockets games from the air and sponsors abandoned them. The controversy quickly spread across the Pacific, as commentators and even a presidential candidate rounded on the league for kowtowing to authoritarian Beijing.


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