Nearly two years ago, then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey showed support for Hong Kong – which put the NBA’s relationship with China on shaky ground.
Over the past two years, the NBA and league commissioner Adam Silver have received their fair share of flak for the ongoing relationship. Questions about the Chinese government have persisted in the wake of Morey’s comments.
On Tuesday night after Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Silver spoke with reporters about a wide variety of topics. One of which was the league’s relationship with China.
Silver said the league’s relationship with China doesn’t mean it condones Chinese policies.
“It’s hard to divorce what’s happening with the NBA from larger geopolitical issues between the U.S. and China. I do think it remains important, that particularly when tensions are high between governments, that we foster these sports, educational, cultural relationships…,” he said, via Pro Basketball Talk.
He continued, saying the league plans to continue its relationship with China, including distributing its content through the country.
“It certainly doesn’t mean that we are blessing everything that happens in China by any means,” Silver said. “We are at root an American company, and so we follow U.S. government policy. But it’s my expectation that we will continue to distribute our games in China… and that we can play a productive role in helping the people of the United States and the people of China have a better understanding of each other, and see that we’re all human beings and that there is commonality between us.”
The NBA won’t be ending its relationship with China any time soon.