U.S. Senator Josh Hawley asks Adam Silver to cancel exhibition games in China
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley has written a letter asking NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to cancel exhibition games in China.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey voiced support on Twitter for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Morey deleted the tweet and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta posted a strong rebuke of Morey’s statement on Twitter.
However, a lot of damage has already been done because of Morey’s tweet:
U.S Senator Josh Hawley’s letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver: pic.twitter.com/lE2Kb35OPa
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) October 7, 2019
As of February 2018, NBA China was valued at more than $4 billion, or $133 million in value for each of the 30 teams, according to Mike Ozanian of Forbes.
The NBA signed a five-year, $700 million deal back in 2015 with Tencent — a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company — to carry NBA games in China. The NBA signed an extension in Tencent in July of 2019 worth $1.5 billion over five years.
Because of Morey’s tweet, the NBA’s relationship with China is now up in the air. Adam Silver said on Monday the NBA has already had a substantial economic impact from Morey’s tweet.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets play in China on Oct. 10. There are a few other preseason games scheduled to take place in China. The Chinese Basketball Association has reportedly already canceled exhibition games involving the Rockets’ G League affiliate.
Silver and his team have some decisions to make.
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