Darryl Morrey Sparks Controversy

Hayden See, Reporter

Controversy arose, with the NBA playing its annual preseason games in China.

Since 2004, the National Basketball Association has had a few of their teams play a handful of their preseason games in China to help grow the game. Previously, it had gone without any major incident or controversy. However, with the protests in Hong Kong, one NBA General Manager decided to speak out.

“The concept of increasing the popularity of basketball in China is good, but in this situation it’s just a rough spot to be in,” senior Harrison Riebow said.

Houston Rockets General Manager Darryl Morrey posted a picture on Twitter that read, “Free Hong Kong,” to show his support for the independent country trying to avoid interference from China. The Chinese started to extradite citizens from Hong Kong, which sparked the outcry from the country. Even though the Tweet was deleted soon after, it still had an effect. The NBA swiftly denounced his actions, saying he shouldn’t have expressed what he put online. This was seen by many as a move by the NBA to try to dissuade any possible conflict with the Chinese government. They’re set on not losing popularity, especially as it relates to the Houston Rockets. As, the Rockets’ Chinese born Yao Ming helped the league’s popularity soar in the Communist China, according to Adam Silver.

“If any team was going to go against the Chinese government, the NBA would want it to be any team besides the Rockets,” senior Connor Price said.

When the NBA returned to the United States, Commissioner Adam Silver was fast to comment on the situation, offering more honesty. He denounced China’s actions towards Hong Kong, and said that, even though the Chinese asked him to fire Morrey for his Tweet, he ‘didn’t even think about it for a second,’ according to ESPN. 

“Seeing him go against China is great to hear, but it makes me question what the future between them holds,” senior Jacob Justice said.

China has not officially responded to Silver’s comments.