China suspends ties with Houston Rockets after general manager’s pro-Hong Kong tweet

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

China’s official basketball association says it will suspend co-operation with the Houston Rockets following a tweet by the team’s general manager in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Basketball Association said Sunday on its official Twitter-like Weibo account that Daryl Morey had made “improper remarks regarding Hong Kong” to which it expressed its “strong opposition.”

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Morey’s now-deleted tweet read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

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Click to play video: 'Reporter hit by Molotov cocktail during protests in Hong Kong' Reporter hit by Molotov cocktail during protests in Hong Kong
Reporter hit by Molotov cocktail during protests in Hong Kong – Oct 6, 2019

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta attempted to distance the team from Morey’s tweet with a Twitter post of his own: “Listen…. @darylmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets. Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the @NBA internationally and we are NOT a political organization.”

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China’s relationship with the Rockets has been especially close because Chinese hall of famer Yao Ming played his entire NBA career with the team.

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