The Houston Rockets have worked closely with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in recent years in an attempt to grow the game outside of the United States, but that seems to have come to a bit of a crossroads thanks to the social media actions of Daryl Morey.
The league announced over Weibo that it took "strong opposition" to the general manger's now-deleted tweet that said "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong." The announcement also labeled Morey's words as "improper remarks regarding Hong Kong."
But the CBA wasn't the only lashing Morey got. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta offered up a swift response of his own, distancing himself and the organization from Morey by saying that he "does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets," and emphasized that they "are NOT a political organization."
The move by Fertitta to basically blast Morey here tells you everything you need to know.
With the Rockets in Tokyo and emergency powers being invoked in the province, the subject of Hong Kong has become an incredibly touchy subject.
The Rockets have long been involved in fostering a love of basketball in China, primarily due to the success of Hall of Fame center and eight-time All-Star Yao Ming, who played all of his career with the team.
While the denouncement certainly damages the international reach of the organization, and perhaps the NBA in China, there's still plenty that remains to be seen.