NBA

October 9, 2019, 2:00 pm

NBA Events in China Disrupted Over Hong Kong Tweet

A day earlier a scheduled tipoff of a Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers game in Shanghai, a situation for the National Basketball Association appeared no person to resolution.

NBA Events in China Disrupted Over Hong Kong Tweet
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A superior for the Brooklyn Nets-Los Angeles Lakers game scheduled for Thursday is interpreted down in Shanghai. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News By Updated Oct. 9, 2019 8:15 am ET

SHANGHAI—A day earlier a scheduled tipoff of a Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers game in Shanghai, a situation for the National Basketball Association appeared no person to resolution.

A participant meet and recognize was canceled, and a fourth estate psychological feature was postponed, a spokeswoman for the conference said late Wednesday. The teams did pattern and some participants participated in a Special Olympics-related NBA Cares psychological feature , though one conceived for Tuesday didn’t go ahead.

A tweet last week from an enforcement (related term) with the Houston Rockets—which are popular in China but not in the state this week—set off a governmental violent storm as it praised antigovernment protesters In Hong Kong. Chinese broadcasters and sponsors then supported some aspects of group action with the NBA when its administrator said he wouldn’t apologise for the tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, though the conference also said it was regrettable that it upset Chinese fans.

Backlash against the NBA sparked by a tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters shows how tricky it is to do business in China—and the difficult line companies must tread. Photo Composite: Crystal Tai

The NBA spokeswoman said she has no information about Thursday’s conceived game in Shanghai.

Half-hour fourth estate psychological feature s with participants from the Nets and Lakers were delayed late Wednesday with no indication of whether or when they would take place. The Nets are owned by a co-founder of Chinese online merchant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , Joe Tsai.

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Exhibition games of the NBA’s minor conference were canceled in Suzhou.

In the shadow of Shanghai’s iconic Pearl Oriental Tower and adjacent to the hotel where the NBA participants and officials are staying, a lone workman supported on ropes on Wednesday afternoon was pulling down a massive poster advertising the games.

A giant Chinese flag was posted over the hotel entrance, which was flanked by fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the occasional participant who filed out.

A man wearing a LeBron James T-shirt stands outside a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai, China on Tuesday. Photo: aly song/Reuters

“This incident that’s happening is what no one is willing to see. But I’d like to say I am first a Chinese, secondly a basketball fan,” said Li Yanzhong, a 27-year-old hospital worker who was outside the hotel wearing a LeBron James shirt.

Photos on social media showed workers taking down posters attached to street lamps in the city. A video from a basketball club in nearby Wuxi showed a wall with the Houston Rockets logo being painted over.

In an indication of how the basketball dispute may be galvanizing some sectors of Chinese society, police in the northeastern province of Jilin said they had arrested on Sunday a 25-year-old man accused of making online “remarks that insult the national flag.”

The man was identified by police only by his family name Wang and his online screen name on the messaging service Weibo. That account showed a photo of a man wearing a Houston Rockets jersey with a cover over his eye—imagery adopted by demonstrators in Hong Kong—and holding a lighter below an upside down Chinese flag.

“I live and die with the basketball team,” the posting said.

—Yin Yijun contributed to this article.

Write to James T. Areddy at james.areddy@wsj.com

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