LeBron James & Kyrie Irving Banner Removed From Shanghai Building
October 9, 2019
The Los Angeles Lakers and
Brooklyn Nets are set to play their preseason game in China. However, this may
not happen because the Chinese removed the banner representing LeBron James,
Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving.
The whole thing happened in the wake of the international incident caused by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.
“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” he wrote on Twitter. This was enough to trigger an avalanche of reactions.
James Harden apologized for
this behavior, and he is one of the many players to issue an apology.
“We apologize. We love China,” Harden said while standing next to
Houston Rockets teammate Russell Westbrook. “We love playing there. Both of
us, we go there once or twice a year.”
“We appreciate them as a fan base. We love everything there about them,
and we appreciate the support that they give us individually and as [an]
organization,” the NBA wrote.
an explanation for his behavior, but it won’t change the situation at all.
“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and
friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one
interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since
that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated
the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would
hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them
was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets
or the NBA.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is
flying to Shanghai to repair
the NBA’s relationship
“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,” Silver said … “We simply
could not operate that way.”
Silver talk to
the media on Tuesday to discuss China essentially blackballing the Houston
Rockets after team Morey tweeted
out support for protesters in Hong Kong.
“I recognize our initial statement left people angered, confused or
unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for,” Silver said in a new
statement. “Essentially, what I’ve said in that statement is the long-held
values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and certainly freedom
of expression by members of the NBA community. And in this case, Daryl Morey,
as the general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our
employees. What I also tried to suggest is 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 says China refuses to air the Lakers vs. Nets preseason game set to
go down in Shanghai on Thursday … but added that this event is actually an opportunity.
“My plan all along has
been to travel to Shanghai tomorrow, and I plan to attend the Lakers-Nets game
Thursday night. It’s my hope that when I’m in Shanghai, I can meet with the
appropriate officials and discuss where we stand, and again, put those remarks
from Darl Morey and my remarks in an appropriate context of a many-decades-long
relationship and see if we can find mutual respect for each other’s political
systems and beliefs. But I’m a realist as well, and I recognize that this issue
may not die down so quickly.”