According to multiple reports, the Chinese government canceled the event, just mere hours before it was to begin.
Just like with the Nets yesterday, the Lakers have now had their NBA Cares event canceled here in Shanghai today. The event was supposed to benefit Special Olympics.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 9, 2019
The Lakers & Nets will address the media in Shanghai 4 hours from now. Since the NBA touched down in China, 2 NBA Cares events have been canceled by the Chinese government, several Chinese celebrities have backed out of appearances around the games as have corp. sponsors.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 9, 2019
This decision was apparently made in the wake of a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, which simply consisted of a graphic image that showed support for protestors in Hong Kong. These protestors are against the passing of a proposed law that would allow suspects in that special administrative region to be sent to the mainland of China to face trial.
The Chinese government has become increasingly skeptical of foreign influence in these protests, especially from the United States.
Following Morey’s tweet, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that he had the Rockets executive’s back, saying that the league supported his free speech rights.
“There is no doubt, the economic impact is already clear,” Silver said to Kyodo News in Tokyo on Monday. “There have already been fairly dramatic consequences from that tweet, and I have read some of the media suggesting that we are not supporting Daryl Morey, but in fact we have.
“I think as a values-based organization that I want to make it clear … that Daryl Morey is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression.”