Source: Nets' China Games Could Be Cancelled Amid Tweet Fallout
There "is concern" that the two Nets-Lakers games scheduled to be played in China later this week "will be cancelled" as a result of the fallout from Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet, according to a source cited by Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. In addition to the games not airing in the country on CCTV, Chinese "actors, musicians and celebrities have withdrawn from NBA-related events" (USA TODAY, 10/8). In Hong Kong, Patrick Blennerhassett notes organizers were "forced to cancel" an NBA Cares community event with the Nets "hours before it was scheduled to take place in Shanghai" today. The "court refurbishment ceremony," which was set to take place at the New World Experimental Primary School in Shanghai, was "cancelled by the government and not the NBA." NBA China said that they would keep updating the media on the "fate of tomorrow's event, another NBA Cares fan event at the Oriental Sports Centre" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 10/8).
JUMPING IN THE FRAY: In N.Y., Deb & Yuan note owners of major U.S. sports teams "generally do not dive headlong into geopolitical firestorms." However, "not many owners have the background" of new Nets Owner Joe Tsai, who "surprised many when he weighed in after the NBA responded" to Morey's tweet with a letter posted on Facebook. For months, Tsai "has not been outspoken as protests against the central government in Beijing roiled Hong Kong." As an NBA owner, Tsai has "emphasized helping the NBA make inroads in China." While his letter "may have helped his efforts, it also crystallized the league's decision to bow to economic pressure from its partners in China over support" in the U.S. for Morey and the Hong Kong protesters (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8).