Editorial

China Wanted Daryl Morey Fired, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Said ‘There’s No Chance’ He Would Be Disciplined

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Chinese leaders wanted Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey fired after his tweet supporting democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The NBA and China have been feuding for weeks after Morey tweeted in support of pro-democracy protests happening in Hong Kong against the communist dictatorship. China, which has a horrific human rights record, does major business with the NBA, and stopped airing games and began cutting off the league after the tweet. Now, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has revealed the Chinese wanted Morey to lose his job, but he refused to comply. (SOURCE: ESPN Not Interested In Getting Involved In NBA/China Feud, Deadspin Memo Was ‘Misreported’)

Silver said the following at the TIME 100 Health Summit, according to TIME on Thursday:

We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business. We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him…These American values — we are an American business — travel with us wherever we go. And one of those values is free expression. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood we were supporting free expression.

Good for Adam Silver for giving the Chinese the middle finger. Asking for a Houston Rockets employee to be fired because he supports freedom is outrageous.

If the NBA had complied, there should have been riots in the streets. LeBron James might defend the Chinese dictatorship at all costs, but that doesn’t mean the fans and Silver have to.

The NBA bungled the initial response to Morey’s tweet, but Silver has actually done an incredible job for the most part ever since when it comes to not breaking.

He didn’t give into any of the Chinese demands, he didn’t blink during the game of chicken about pulling games out of China and he is now publicly airing out the dictatorship for asking for Morey to be fired. He’s the man the league is looking to, and refusing to fire Morey or discipline him is the 100% correct call.

Let clowns like Steve Kerr run their mouths all they want and expose themselves for being ignorant people who refuse to condemn evil.

As long as Adam Silver, the person actually running the show is willing to tell the Chinese that he’s not willing to bend, then we might make it out of this okay.