Silver claims he is fully supporting Daryl Morey.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey created a firestorm for the NBA just over a week ago when he decided to tweet out his support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. While this may not seem like a big deal, it ended up offending many people in China, including their incredibly powerful government. A media tailspin soon followed and the NBA was put into an incredibly sticky situation. Based on the financial ramifications in play, some fans believe the league bowed down to the Chinese government, but commissioner Adam Silver says otherwise.
Silver recently spoke with TMZ about the situation in China and expressed his support for Morey. In fact, Silver says he has called Morey to make sure he is doing alright in the face of the criticism. Silver added that he wants to maintain a relationship with the country and there is always a possibility they go back next year. Most importantly though, Silver wants fans to make sure an apology was never made to the country.
"We certainly didn’t apologize to the Chinese government. We supported Daryl from the get-go in terms of his ability to tweet. We also made clear that there were consequences from that speech. And that was no doubt frustrating to a lot of people in the NBA community because it was incredibly disruptive. But, you know, we accepted that. Daryl knew we accepted that. There was not much we could do about that. But I think it bothered me that somehow even though we – I felt were holding the line in a way that many companies haven’t been able to in China, meaning there was no discipline of our employee, there was never a suggestion that we weren’t supporting him. In fact, I spoke out in favor of freedom of expression. Somehow, there was a sense from some people that that was the equivalent of kowtowing to the Chinese government. I certainly didn’t see it that way, but people are entitled to their opinion."
Now that the regular season is about to start, it doesn't appear as though the China issue will be lingering for much longer. Regardless, it's been quite a stressful time for the league and its players.