LeBron James weighs in on the NBA-China dispute

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Basketball star LeBron James has finally weighed in on the ongoing NBA-China dispute, criticizing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey as being misinformed about the situation. The league is embroiled in a standoff with China after Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Although Morey quickly apologized and deleted his original tweet, the damage was done. The league's Chinese partners suspended ties, state broadcaster CCTV halted all broadcasts of preseason matches, and the Chinese government said the NBA needed to show "mutual respect."Speaking to reporters on Monday before a game in Los Angeles, James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, called it "a very delicate situation, a very sensitive situation."When asked whether Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet, James responded, "I think when we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened, understand that what you could tweet or could say, and we all talk about this freedom of speech -- yes, we do all have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're only thinking about yourself.""I don't want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand and he spoke. So many people could have been harmed, not just financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and what we do, even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too."He added that he and his teammates had stayed silent about the situation because they were "not informed enough" about it, and that "I'm not here to judge how the League handles the situation.""I just think that when you're misinformed or you're not educated about something, and I'm just talking about the tweet itself, you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did -- not only for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well," he said.He made further comments on Twitter Monday night after video of his remarks went viral on social media."I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet," he wrote. "I'm not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that."He added that it had been "a difficult week" for the Lakers and the NBA."I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it."How one tweet became the NBA's worst nightmareThe NBA spat spiraled rapidly since Morey's original October 4 tweet of an image that read, "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." The former British colony, now a Chinese territory, has been rocked by months of political unrest that have drawn increasingly harsh condemnation from Beijing.The tweet set off a firestorm in China almost immediately, and the NBA issued an official apology just days later, saying it recognized that Morey's views "have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable."The league has spent years and many millions of dollars investing in China, helping to build courts, giving broadcasting rights away for free and bringing its stars over for preseason games.China makes up at least 10% of the league's current revenue, according to one analyst, and the country is expected to contribute even more than that over the next decade, perhaps reaching 20% of the league's revenue by 2030.But the apology drew widespread and scathing bipartism criticism in the United States, and the NBA issued a stronger-worded statement emphasizing freedom of expression in an attempt at damage control.The next day, all 11 of the NBA's official Chinese partners suspended ties.Through all of this, NBA players have stayed relatively quiet, making James one of the first to speak out on the issue. When CNN's Christina Macfarlane tried to ask Rockets players James Harden and Russell Westbrook about the NBA's position with China, she was shut down by a Rockets' media officer. "It's already been answered," the media officer said."This is a question that's not been answered. James?" Macfarlane responded, to which Harden stayed silent.Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...