Prior to Monday’s preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, forward LeBron James spoke with members of the media regarding the NBA’s recent controversy related to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting anti-communist protesters in Hong Kong. James went to Twitter late Monday night to clarify his stance, and as a result opened himself up to widespread criticism from many of his followers who weren’t overly thrilled with the star’s take on the dilemma.
According to ESPN, James believes Morey was, “misinformed and not educated on the situation”. Despite being critical, James tried not to be overly-offensive by adding, “I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl but I believe he wasn’t educated about the situation at hand and he spoke. So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”
The NBA and its commissioner David Silver, along with head coaches and players have been the subject of heavy criticism for their “neutral” stance regarding the fallout of the GM’s Oct. 4 tweet. President Donald Trump, as well as many other politicians have injected their opinions into the controversy lately too.
ESPN also reported that James had this to say, “I think when we talk about the political side, I think it’s a very delicate situation. Very sensitive situation. For me personally, if any of you guys know me or always cover me, you guys know when I speak about something, I speak about something I’m very knowledgeable about. Something that hits home for me. Something I’m very passionate about. I feel like with this particular situation, not only was I not informed enough about– I just felt like it was something not only myself or my teammates or our organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time. And we still feel the same way.
Talks regarding the situation seemed to cool off over the weekend, but now James comments are adding another layer to the controversy. Monday morning a report surfaced from ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that Silver had a tense meeting with players from the Brooklyn Nets and Lakers last week when arriving in Shanghai to address the situation. Several players voiced their displeasure during the meeting, feeling that they were being put at the center of the controversy.
What’s certain is the NBA isn’t separating itself from the backlash any time soon. At this point, it seems the league is headed for national media-circus reminiscent of the NFL’s anthem/protest controversy. The NFL as a whole is still recovering to shake it’s negative stigma surrounding the events. Despite the financial repercussions, it would be nice for an NBA player to stand up and support America as a whole. Instead of playing the middle, and not potentially upsetting their financial interests in the communist state of China.
Header Photo Credit: ENM News