NBA postpones media sessions in China as rift over Hong Kong tweet simmers

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The NBA has postponed Wednesday’s scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled.

The teams were training in Shanghai on Wednesday, where at least two other NBA events in advance of the start of the China games were called off as part of the ongoing rift that started after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet last week that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Morey’s tweet was deleted, and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the organization. Joe Tsai, who recently completed his purchase of the Nets and is a co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, has said the damage to the NBA’s relationship with China “will take a long time to repair.”

“Given the fluidity of the situation, today’s media availability has been postponed,” the league said.

An NBA event that was to benefit Special Olympics was called off, as was a “fan night” celebration which was to be highlighted by the league announcing plans to refurbish outdoor courts in Shanghai. Workers around the city have taken down outdoor promotional ads for Thursday’s Lakers-Nets game. The teams are also supposed to play Saturday in Shenzhen.

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