cloudyn.png
Tuesday December 10th, 2019 9:26PM

NBA postpones Nets-Lakers media sessions in Shanghai

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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

The teams were practicing in Shanghai, where at least two other NBA events in advance of the start of the China games were canceled 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.

"Given the fluidity of the situation, today's media availability has been postponed," the league said. By nightfall Wednesday in China, which is 12 hours ahead of Eastern time in the U.S., the availabilities had not been rescheduled — though having them on Thursday remains possible.

An NBA Cares event in Shanghai that was to benefit Special Olympics was called off, as was a "fan night" celebration that was to be highlighted by the league announcing plans to refurbish some outdoor courts in that city. And workers in multiple spots around Shanghai were tearing down large outdoor promotional advertisements for Thursday's Lakers-Nets game.

The teams are also supposed to play Saturday in Shenzhen. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver met with players from both the Nets and Lakers on Wednesday in Shanghai, telling them that the league's intention remains to play the games as scheduled.

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has joined the list of companies that have suspended — for now, at least — ties with the NBA, and that only adds to the uncertainty over whether the China games will be played. Vivo was a presenting sponsor of the Lakers-Nets games, and on Wednesday there was no reference to the game in Shanghai on the list of upcoming events scheduled at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Other firms such as apparel company Li-Ning announced similar moves earlier this week, as the rift was just beginning.

Silver said Tuesday in Tokyo that he supports Morey's right to free speech. Several Chinese companies have suspended their partnership with the NBA in recent days, and Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said it will not broadcast the Lakers-Nets games.

"I'm sympathetic to our interests here and to our partners who are upset," Silver said. "I don't think it's inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles."

All around China, stores that sell NBA merchandise were removing Rockets-related apparel from shelves and many murals featuring the Rockets — even ones with Yao Ming, the Chinese great who played for Houston during his NBA career — were being painted over.

Effects were even felt in at least one NBA arena Tuesday night.

In Philadelphia, where the 76ers were playing a Chinese team — the Guangzhou Loong Lions — two fans were removed by arena security for holding signs and chanting in support of Hong Kong. The signs read "Free Hong Kong" and "Free HK." The sentiment was not different from Morey's since-deleted tweet last week of an image that read, "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong."

The 76ers and Wells Fargo Center, the team's home arena, released statements Wednesday confirming that the fan removal took place and explaining why.

"During the second quarter of last night's 76ers game, Wells Fargo Center security responded to a situation that was disrupting the live event experience for our guests," the arena's statement said. "After three separate warnings, the two individuals were escorted out of the arena without incident. The security team employed respectful and standard operating procedures."

Meanwhile, Silver's sentiments were also a talking point in Miami, where San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich spoke out in support of how the commissioner is handling the situation.

"And it wasn't easy for him to say," Popovich said. "He said that in an environment fraught with possible economic peril. But he sided with the principles that we all hold dearly, or most of us did until the last three years. So I'm thrilled with what he said."

Other NBA coaches have not been so willing to discuss the situation. Philadelphia's Brett Brown said he did not wish to get into specifics of the China-NBA rift, though he said he has been to that country many times and is always blown away by how popular the game is there.

"Just massive amounts of basketball courts and you're looking out and there's no available court," Brown said. "It's just people playing on a court. I took a (lower-level) Australian team to China and the story comes there was 400 million viewers watching not the true national team. You're just reminded of the popularity of the sport."

The NBA is not the first major corporation to deal with criticism from China over political differences. Mercedes-Benz, Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and others also have found themselves in conflicts with China in recent years.

After Morey's tweet was deleted, 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 e-commerce giant Alibaba, has said the damage to the NBA's relationship with China "will take a long time to repair."

___

Reynolds reported from Miami. AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston in Philadelphia and Associated Press writer Yanan Wang in Beijing contributed to this report.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
NBA postpones Nets-Lakers media sessions in Shanghai
NBA postpones Wednesday's scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers
4:42AM ( 6 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Nats-Dodgers and Cards-Braves set for Game 5
LEADING OFF: Nats-Dodgers and Cards-Braves set for Game 5, Rays push ALDS back to Houston for Game 5, Hicks hopes to rejoin Yankees in ALCS
4:33AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Millions face power outages in northern, central California
Millions of people in northern and central California are facing days without power as Pacific Gas & Electric creates the largest preventive blackout in state history
4:22AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Cole, Astros have no room for error left in ALDS vs Rays
Cole, Astros have no room for error left in AL Division Series vs Rays
2:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Rays chase Verlander early, beat Astros 4-1 to even ALDS
Willy Adames homered and made a sensational relay throw from shortstop, Tommy Pham also went deep and the Tampa Bay Rays chased Justin Verlander early in beating the Houston Astros 4-1 to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece
2:51AM ( 1 hour ago )
NBA slate has some old, something new _ a Simmons 3-pointer
Ben Simmons made his first 3-pointer as a pro, and Chris Paul returned to Oklahoma City, this time with the Thunder and not the Hornets
2:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
ACC waits to see who steps into star spotlight
The Atlantic Coast Conference is waiting to see who steps into the spotlight after the departures of national player of the year Zion Williamson and nine other first-round NBA draft picks
6:06PM ( 10 hours ago )
With China rift ongoing, NBA says free speech remains vital
'We will have to live with those consequences': Silver insists NBA will honor freedom of speech as rift with China grows
5:57PM ( 10 hours ago )
Pac-12 players, coaches briefed on California likeness law
Coaches and men's basketball players from the Pac-12 Conference have been briefed at media day about a new California law that would allow student-athletes to profit from the use of their image, name or likeness when it goes into effect in 2023
5:33PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Nobel week continues with the Chemistry Prize
The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be awarded Wednesday, a day after the Physics reward was given to a Canadian-American cosmologist and two Swiss scientists
3:02AM ( 1 hour ago )
IS militants hit US-backed Kurdish fighters in north Syria
US-backed Kurdish force, Syrian activists say Islamic State militants have carried out attack in northern city of Raqqa
2:26AM ( 2 hours ago )
Hong Kong protesters clamor for release of detained activist
Several hundred masked protesters chanting for revolution have gathered at Hong Kong's High Court for the appeal hearing of an activist sentenced to six years in prison for his part in a violent nightlong clash with police
12:12AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
California power outage: What happens when the lights go out
A Q&A about California's power outage and why the lights are going out to avert wildfires
12:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
Asian stocks slip as tensions flare before US-China talks
Asian shares slip as tensions flare ahead of China-US trade talks
12:33AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Classified briefing on Syria set for Hill staff
The Trump administration will hold a classified briefing on Syria for House and Senate staff Tuesday afternoon, according to congressional aide familiar with the meeting
12:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Coach Bennett says Virginia keeping level head
The Latest: Virginia coach Tony Bennett says Cavaliers keeping level head after winning national title
11:19AM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Coach K says NBA could expand in NBA draft
The Latest: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski could see a day when NBA expands the draft
11:11AM ( 17 hours ago )
Could Yao Ming mend the fences between the NBA and China?
Yao Ming could be the man in the middle if the NBA and China are going to mend fences
11:11AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Sports - NBA
LEADING OFF: Nats-Dodgers and Cards-Braves set for Game 5
LEADING OFF: Nats-Dodgers and Cards-Braves set for Game 5, Rays push ALDS back to Houston for Game 5, Hicks hopes to rejoin Yankees in ALCS
4:33AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Millions face power outages in northern, central California
Millions of people in northern and central California are facing days without power as Pacific Gas & Electric creates the largest preventive blackout in state history
4:22AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Kurds mobilize in Syria as Turkey poised for imminent attack
Kurds in northeastern Syria issue 'general mobilization' call along border with Turkey as Ankara poises for invasion
4:06AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Recuperating Sanders says he may slow down campaigning pace
Bernie Sanders says he's slowing down the pace of his Democratic presidential campaign
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
Irish prime minister says big gaps remain in Brexit talks
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkhar says big gaps remain between Britain and the European Union as they try to secure a Brexit deal
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )