NBA Vs. China


Jason Martineau

Daryl Morey is the current general manager of the Houston Rockets, a team in the NBA. He has been involved in the NBA for many years, as a president of basketball operations, assistant general manager and the general manager of the Houston Rockets. Since joining the Rockets as the general manager ​in 2007, he has the second most wins in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs. He also pulled off a blockbuster trade to get James Harden which really turned the franchise around. But this year, he sparked controversy between the NBA and China over a tweet about protests in Hong Kong. This really upset China and has since ended their relationship with the NBA.

Daryl ​Morey was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin, but later moved to Ohio. He graduated from Highland High School in Medina, Ohio. After graduating from high school in 1992, he attended Northwestern University for four years. He received his bachelor’s degree in​ ​computer science​ with an emphasis on statistics and also an​ ​MBA​ from the​ ​MIT Sloan School of Managemen​t in 1996. He ​began his career as a principal consultant with an emphasis on sports at The Parthenon Group, which is a leading strategy consulting firm. After the Parthenon Group, Morey served three years as SVP Operations for the​ ​Boston Celtics, and acted as the President of basketball operations. He later became the assistant GM for the Rockets in 2006, but then took over as the GM in 2007. Since Morey has taken over, ​the Houston Rockets have not had a losing season and have made the playoffs nine times. He also won the NBA Executive of the Year in 2018 for being the best GM in the NBA.

On October 4, 2019, Morey tweeted that he supported​ the ​protests taking place in Hong Kong, which drew criticism from the Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta. Tilman later came out publicly and said that the Rockets “Are not a political organization.” So, Morey later deleted the tweet.​ ​A strong reaction came from the People’s Republic of China, where the Rockets have had strong relationships, The​ Chinese Basketball Association​ suspended its relationship with the Rockets. On October 7, Morey and the NBA issued separate statements addressing the original tweet. Morey said that he never intended his tweet to cause any offense, while the NBA said called the tweet “regrettable”. China was not happy, because they felt that they never received a real “apology.” Also on October 7, NBA commissioner​ Adam Silver​ defended the league’s response to the tweet while supporting Daryl by stating that he is supporting Morey’s rights of the 1st Amendment while also accepting the right of reply from all of China. The next day, Chinese television announced that it was cancelling the broadcast of two NBA preseason games scheduled to be played in China that week and also cancelling ​NBA Cares​ community events in Shanghai.

China has since ended all relationships with the NBA. The backlash from this one simple tweet is going to affect the whole NBA not just the Houston Rockets. Due to the relationship ending with China, the yearly cap space for teams is going to lower by a lot. I’m not sure the exact amount, but I know it is at least a couple million dollars. There was a video on twitter that showed a Chinese man in China burning all of his Rockets gear and another video of a man painting over the team’s logo so you couldn’t see it. This just shows you how China feels about the whole situation but the NBA is different.

Many current and ex NBA players have come forward to talk about the current situation involving the United States, NBA and China. Some of those players include LeBron James, Jaylen Brown, Dennis Rodman and Kyrie Irving. Since many players have come out to talk about the whole situation, the NBA has since banned players from talking to the media about it. This also affects Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward who have a shoe deal with Anta, a brand based out of China. They are now no longer part of their family and have no sponsorship. LeBron has faced major criticism from people for his comments on the situation.