NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the Chinese authorities asked him to fire Rockets common supervisor Daryl Morey after he voiced help for the Hong Kong protestors earlier this month.

Silver was talking at an occasion organized by Time journal in New York on Thursday when he mentioned the continued state of affairs between China and the league.

“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver stated (through The Washington Post). “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

The 57-year-old Silver additionally admitted the league’s begun to expertise monetary issues in China.

“The losses have already been substantial,” Silver stated. “Our games are not back on the air in China, as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”

Despite the state of affairs confronted in China, Silver reiterated the league’s dedication to supporting freedom of speech.

“We wanted to make an absolute clear statement that the values of the NBA, these American values — we are an American business — travel with us wherever we go, and one of those values is free expression,” Silver stated.

Recently, LeBron James got here out and referred to as Morey’s tweet supporting the Hong Kong protestors “misinformed” whereas the league has confronted extreme backlash from the Chinese authorities. 

The NBA common season kicks off on Oct. 22 with matchups between the Pelicans and Raptors at eight p.m. ET and Lakers and Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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