NBA says it will remain silent for the rest of China visit

NBA says it will remain silent for the rest of China visit
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The NBA will conclude its preseason China tour without holding any more press conferences, The Associated Press reports.

As scheduled, the Los Angeles Lakers will play the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday in Shenzhen, but there will be no media availability for players and coaches before or after the game.

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The league reportedly came to this decision after consulting with the league's union, National Basketball Players Association.

The NBA told the AP: "We have decided not to hold media availability for our teams for the remainder of our trip in China.

“They have been placed into a complicated and unprecedented situation while abroad and we believe it would be unfair to ask them to address these matters in real time.”

This follows Chinese officials stopping NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the teams from holding press conferences Thursday before or after the Nets-Lakers game in Shanghai.

The move is just the latest in the fallout that began after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted last week in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The tweet was quickly deleted but its ramifications are still being felt by the league.

Silver started the week apologizing for Morey's tweet but later supported him.

“I don’t think it’s inconsistent to both be apologetic that that was the outcome of that speech but at the same time support Daryl’s right to his freedom of expression," Silver said at the time.

Silver's first response sparked bipartisan backlash with a number of lawmakers accusing the league of putting profits ahead of human rights.