Can we get all just get real about the current news from China and their all too cozy relationship with the National Basketball Association? The long-standing mega business agreements between the two factions aside, why isn’t anyone calling this exactly what it is and stating that the oppression continuing in Hong Kong is just more of the same from the Chinese government, as this type of unconscionable behavior has been ongoing throughout China long before an official NBA basketball was ever sold in Beijing? That being said, what is inaccurate about what Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said when he recently used Twitter to state support for the protesters in Hong Kong just prior to the NBA pilgrimage to China for preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Jersey Nets?
Yes, many will point to the obscene amounts of money that the Rockets harvested during the Yao Ming era (2002-2011) and say that alone removes their right to object to the ongoing melee with China, as it would indeed be hypocritical for them to differ now, after banking all that cash. And, yes, Morey was at the helm for five of those lucrative years. Then there are those who say Morey was timing his opposition to run parallel with the NBA’s presence at the time of the exhibition games to gain even more traction. Either way, the guy was simply speaking up about the travesty of a situation that has become all too common in recent months. Not exactly breaking news is the point, and now that it has threatened the financial coffers of both the NBA and the country of China, several parties are worried.
Maybe the fact that the NBA enjoyed better television ratings in China last season than here, domestically, has something to do with it as well, and let’s not forget the billions of blood dollars that Nike and Adidas (along with the NBA) has made off the back of Chinese workers in their respective sweatshops. Recently, LeBron James stated Morey was misinformed about China and even dubbed him as uneducated about the matters at hand. The fact that James is Nike’s poster child is purely coincidental in terms of his objections (wink), and I’m certain that the staggering revenue that flows in from the LeBron brand from sales doesn’t factor in at all. (Double wink.)
One thing is for certain: All the principles in this fiasco are sweating bullets in terms of how the enormous revenue stemming from business relations with China will be divvied up moving forward.
The reduction in such for the NBA may indeed impact future salary cap levels and may diminish fan interest in the superstar NBA players that are treated like rock stars when they step off the plane in Beijing. Here’s a solution from a working class stiff with no dog in the fight other than concern for his fellow human beings: either denounce China or just come out and say the fortune you receive from them is more important than human rights. It’s just that easy.
Chances are all the aforementioned power brokers will throw some sympathy money at it through some slick international public relations firm and simply wait until the next ugly protest occurs.
In the meantime, they all have to look themselves in the mirror each morning as they shave, and that certainly would seem more difficult to me than anything that Daryl Morey has had to say lately.
Danny Bridges, who won’t live long enough to see the total elimination of human rights violations, but encourages the youth of the world to continually decry it, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.