Here’s CCTV’s statement, as translated by CNBC:

We have noticed that Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, who is participating in an event in Japan, has responded to Houston Rockets general manager Morey’s post of inappropriate Hong Kong-related remarks. We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech.

To this end, CCTV Sports Channel of the Central Radio and Television Administration has decided to immediately suspend the current broadcast arrangements of the NBA pre-season (China Games) and immediately investigate all cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA.


Huh. Why, it’s almost as though the league’s stated commitment to pluralist values clashes directly and irreconcilably with its business partnerships inside a repressive totalitarian society, and it is being forced to choose between those values and the money it stands to make off its access to the Chinese economy. For all that Daryl Morey and Xi Jinping may have in common as human beings, this is about what the NBA and the government of China have in common as vast inhuman machines, and what they’re willing to ignore for the sake of it.