Leading up to the 2019 NBA preseason, the Los Angeles Lakers expressed excitement about playing two games against the Brooklyn Nets in China (Shanghai/Shenzhen).
However, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s recent tweet that showed support for anti-government protestors in Hong Kong has created a lot of conflict.
Since the Lakers have arrived in China, CCTV will no longer air the two games as celebrities and fans will also boycott.
As the ‘NBA Cares’ event has been canceled and media sessions were postponed, the Lakers and Nets players are frustrated now, according to Rachel Nichols of ESPN:
“It has been frustrating for the players. The Lakers were supposed to participate in an ‘NBA Cares’ community event to benefit Special Olympics today — the government canceled that. Both teams were supposed to participate in a ‘Fan Appreciate Night’ tonight — that was canceled. Their practices had to be moved because the area suddenly wasn’t available to them. And also, they’ve watched signs advertising this game on Thursday disappearing from around town.”
While the two Lakers-Nets games remain in question, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly informed the players the league intends to go forward, according to Nichols:
“This has naturally led to questions about whether this game is actually going to happen. Players got the chance to ask Adam Silver that directly today. I’m told in that meeting that he informed them the players the NBA intends to go forward and in turn, some of them expressed their frustration of being in this position. They didn’t feel comfortable talking to the media … They really felt they were put in a bad position with the fans.”
And as of 4:36 PM PT, the Lakers-Nets game will go on as scheduled, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 9, 2019
More details as it becomes available.