Man I remember Harden and the Rockets in a commercial specifically about Chinese New Year/celebration yearrsss agooo. WTF exactly happened? What did I miss?
Daryl Morey's tweet about Hong Kong.
On October 4, 2019, Morey tweeted in support of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, drawing criticism from Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who said that while Morey was the best general manager in the NBA, the Rockets were not a political organization. Morey later deleted the tweet. In mainland China, where the Rockets have an extensive relationship after the selection of Yao Ming in 2002, Morey's tweet resulted in the Chinese Basketball Association's suspension of its relationship with the Rockets and the issuance of a statement of dissatisfaction from the consulate office of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Houston. The Associated Press said that the reactions underscored Beijing's sensitivity about foreign attitudes toward the protests.
A few days later, Morey and the NBA each issued a separate statement addressing the original tweet, with Morey saying that he never intended his tweet to cause any offense and the NBA saying that it was regrettable. The statements were criticized by US politicians and third-party observers for the perceived exercise of economic statecraft by the PRC and insufficiency of the NBA's defense of Morey's tweet. Critics also contrasted the league's disparate response to Morey's tweet with its history of political activism and compared the incident to an October 2 South Park episode "Band in China" which parodies the self-censorship of the American entertainment industry to meet PRC censorship demands. The statements also drew criticism from PRC state-run media for their perceived insufficiency, as Morey did not apologize. NBA commissioner Adam Silver later defended the league's response to the tweet, supporting Morey's right to freedom of expression while also accepting the right of reply from the government of and businesses from mainland China. Further fallout from the tweet included the decision by China Central Television to cancel the broadcasting of two NBA preseason games, pro Hong Kong protest demonstrations held at preseason games in the United States involving teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, the cancellation of NBA Cares community events in Shanghai, criticism by US President Donald Trump of the perceived double standards by the reactions of specific coaches to NBA response relative to their past criticisms of his policies, and the suspension/termination of all mainland Chinese sponsors of the NBA. An article by Fox Business said that the NBA would look to Africa and India for growth if the league were to sever ties with mainland China as a result of the tweet.