CHINA – A tweet last Friday from the General Manager of the Houston Rockets has launched into an NBA international crisis.

In a now deleted tweet, GM Daryl Morey voiced his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong saying “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver arrived in China on Wednesday to begin face-to-face damage control. Numerous NBA events were canceled in China due to the controversy.

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To break down the backlash Clayton Dube, the director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, joined The Beat On 1.

“Well it’s a very big deal, and it speaks to different understandings on what is going on in Hong Kong,” said Dube. “Most Americans and most people in Hong Kong understand the demonstrations to be an assertion for civil liberties, continuing to have the right to speak, to assemble, but also asserting the right for a voice in the government.”  

The Lakers are currently in China playing against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. The arrival of the Lakers players were greeted with less fanfare than they normally do when they play in China.