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Hill editor-in-chief: NBA is 'bending down' to 'almighty dollar'

The Hill’s editor-in-chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Tensions rise as U.S. waits for Derek Chauvin verdict Key Democrat says traveler fees should fund infrastructure projects Trump legal switch hints at larger problems MORE said the NBA has a "disaster" on its hands following the league's response to a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

“This is a disaster for the NBA,” Cusack told Hill.TV on Friday, noting how the league is shutting down questions from journalists and not allowing players to respond to the controversy.

“This comes down to the almighty dollar and the NBA is bending down to it,” he added.

Cusack’s comments come a day after the NBA apologized to a CNN reporter after a spokeswoman attempted to prevent the journalist from asking players about the controversy involving Hong Kong.

The NBA said the spokesperson had “inappropriately interjected” when she asked if Houston Rockets players “felt differently” over the league’s decision to distance itself from the team’s general manager Daryl Morey.

Following the incident with CNN, the NBA announced on Friday that it would conclude its preseason tour in China without holding any more press conferences, according to the Associated Press.

The NBA has been mired in a controversy after Morey last week tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” in support of protesters there.

Even though Morey later deleted the tweet and issued an apology, the Chinese Basketball Association suspended ties with the Rockets.

The NBA issued its own statement calling Morey’s tweets “regrettable,” which drew fire from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including two former political rivals.

Both former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal Biden watching Derek Chauvin verdict from West Wing Cruz opposed to state lawmaker's bid to replace Wright in Congress MORE (R-Texas) ripped the NBA’s statement.

O’Rourke called it an “embarrassment,” while Cruz argued that the only thing the NBA should be apologizing for is “their blatant prioritization of profits over human rights.”

⁠—Tess Bonn