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The NBA’s ongoing issues with the Chinese government in the wake of Daryl Morey’s Hong Kong tweet aren’t going to go away any time soon. Silver this week offered a somewhat more full-throated support for Morey’s right to free expression, confirming Morey won’t face any discipline.

That declaration came along with public acknowledgement that the Chinese government had, in one way or another, wanted Morey fired. Silver’s newest comments apparently touched another nerve, as the South China Morning Post, reported Saturday that state media issued an editorial promising further retribution for Silver and the NBA.

“Silver has spared no effort to portray himself as a fighter for free speech and used freedom of speech as an excuse to cover for Morey, who voiced his support for the violent actors in Hong Kong,” [CCTV] said. “This has crossed the bottom line of the Chinese people.”

Silver’s handling of the controversy had proved his “double standards”, the broadcaster said, adding that he had “defamed” China on the international stage.

“To please some American politicians, Silver has fabricated lies out of nothing and has sought to paint China as unforgiving,” it said.

The way in which the NBA boss had defended Morey showed he had “problems in his character”, the report said, adding that he “will receive retribution sooner or later”.
So that sounds pretty much exactly like an ominous CCTV editorial is expected to sound. Obviously the NBA is going to continue to feel the impact of whatever China decides to do for the near future, though clearly Silver knew this was a probable outcome when he made his most recent comments on the topic this week.
It’s hard to describe just how much happened this offseason, from the league-shaking player movement in the summer right up through now, when we have a foreign power threatening the league commissioner just a few days before the regular season is set to begin. It’ll be nice to have the games back, of course, but unlike free agency and the draft, this story isn’t constrained by the league calendar.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.