Per the South China Morning Post, China still won’t air games if the NBA doesn’t “properly handle” Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
This past October, Morey created a feud with China with a single tweet. The tweet that read, “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.,” was subsequently removed by Morey.
The post made major headlines, and China did not take it very well. Chinese fans, sponsors, and commercial partners heavily criticized the comment. Chinese broadcasters and streaming platforms even said they would no longer broadcast Rockets Games.
The Coronavirus put a halt to this feud between Morey and China. However, recent reports suggest tensions are rising once more.
The Chinese State Broadcasting system (CCTV) made a recent statement regarding the potential return of American Basketball. They emphasized their seriousness on the issue, reaffirming they are not willing to air any NBA game upon the league’s return.
China appears unwilling to budge on this issue. However, they would potentially consider changing their mind on the subject, if the NBA meets one condition.
Making Morey step down might be the only way out. If the Rockets GM relinquishes his position, it will show China that the NBA believes he was in the wrong, and they were in the right.
Although this may not be a popular route in the States, nor necessarily the morally correct one, it could cause China to begin airing NBA games again. Given the league’s significant loss of income during the pandemic, they may need to explore different avenues for revenue.