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Los Angeles Lakers stuck in China; Adam Silver to meet with Chinese officials to discuss unfolding fallout

Photo via Screenshot of ESPN/Youtube

The Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to play against the Brooklyn Nets in China this week, but the plans of NBA have now been upended. The cause of the turmoil was due to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeting – and subsequently deleting – his support to the Hong Kong protestors.

The Lakers arrived in China with not much fanfare as the government and other businesses in the country are trying to cut ties with the NBA. However, there’s still no announcement whether the Nets and Lakers game has been canceled.

But looking at the entire situation at the moment, there’s a high chance that it will get the ax. According to Marc Stein of the New York Post, there is a growing narrative that the Lakers and the Nets will likely not battle each other this coming Thursday and Saturday due to the fallout between the Chinese government and the NBA.

Lakers shunned in China

“In discussions, I’ve had over the past few days with a number of well-placed observers, who are familiar with both the Chinese landscape and N.B.A. dealings, there are growing fears that government officials will cancel the two games. Various sponsors, media outlets, and the Chinese Basketball Association itself — led by the former Rockets great Yao Ming — have already vowed to have nothing to do with the Rockets for the foreseeable future,” Stein wrote. The NBA’s event in Shanghai involving the Lakers has already been cut, and there’s a high chance that the exhibition match will be treated the same way.

Lakers still waiting how Adam Silver and Chinese officials will iron out the mess

Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is maintaining his stance that the organization will not be regulating the freedom of expression of anyone operating under its umbrella. The Chinese government, of course, is fuming about Silver’s decision. That’s why the Lakers are being shunned in the country.

However, both parties will reportedly meet again to discuss the matter. With the entire situation devolving into what appears to be an international firestorm, everyone involved in the matter is walking on eggshells to not set off a complete fallout. In the meantime, the Lakers are reportedly practicing in China without media coverage, and the team is now waiting what the decisions from both sides will be.

By J Russ Isberto
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