Contributor Perspectives

China Calls a Foul, and the NBA Jumps

Tolga Ozyurtcu
Board of Contributors
Oct 17, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
This photo shows a protester in Hong Kong waving a banner of support for NBA team executive Daryl Morey.

A Hong Kong protester waves a banner supporting NBA team executive Daryl Morey, whose tweet supporting the protest movement drew an immediate rebuke from China, imperiling the league's lucrative business in the country.

(PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

A groundbreaking game four decades ago in Beijing gave the NBA a toehold in basketball-crazy China. Over the intervening years, the league has tapped a gold mine in the country worth billions of dollars in TV rights and endorsements. The importance to the NBA of maintaining its Chinese operations became evident in the careful steps it's had to take to escape the political minefield that it found itself thrown into by an executive's tweet over Hong Kong....

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