The NBA doesn’t want the Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers to speak to media in Shanghai just yet. The league postponed the teams’ media sessions Wednesday, citing “the fluidity of the situation,” according to the Associated Press.
The Lakers and Nets are in Shanghai preparing for Thursday’s preseason game, which is supposed to take place in the city. The two teams practiced Wednesday, though it’s unclear whether the game will actually take place.
The NBA and China have been at odds with each other after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a tweet Friday that supported protesters in Hong Kong. The NBA has tried to run damage control on the situation. Morey backed away from the tweets and attempted to distance the Rockets from the situation. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he agreed with Morey’s right to freedom of speech, and also apologized to the people of China for that tweet. Even James Harden got caught up in the back and forth.
China has responded by pulling various business deals with the NBA and canceling television broadcasts of games. A number of Chinese sponsors have suspended their deals with the league. China has cut all ties with the Rockets.
The league also canceled other events in Shanghai — including one that would have benefited the Special Olympics and another in which the league was going to announce a plan to refurbish outdoor basketball courts in Shanghai, according to the AP.
There’s plenty of uncertainty regarding whether the Lakers and Nets will play Thursday’s game. With less than 24 hours to go before game time, the game is still listed on NBA.com’s preseason schedule.
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