NBA commissioner Adam Silver heads to China to salvage relationship

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is going to Shanghai to try and repair the league's relationship with China.

Continue Reading Below

Silver says he's making the trip, but he won't bend when it comes to protecting freedom of expression.

"The NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues," Silver said "We simply could not operate that way."

A second NBA Cares event, this one with the Los Angeles Lakers, was canceled Wednesday just hours before it was scheduled to begin, according to multiple reports. The NBA says the cancellation of the event was not its decision.

This follows the Chinese government pulling the plug on Tuesday's NBA Cares event featuring the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a welcome reception for the NBA Japan Games 2019 between the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets in Tokyo, Japan, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Silver spoke with the media on Tuesday to discuss China essentially blackballing the Houston Rockets after team general manager Daryl Morey tweeted out support for protesters in Hong Kong.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE 

The tweet drew a public rebuke from Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and an apologetic initial statement from the NBA, which, in turn, rankled several U.S. politicians who felt the league had sided with financial interests over human rights.

The NBA’s multibillion-dollar business relationship with China faces unprecedented pressure.

State-owned Chinese broadcaster CCTV and digital platform Tencent said Tuesday they have suspended planned broadcasts of NBA preseason games over Morey’s now-deleted tweet.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Silver plans to attend the Lakers-Nets game Thursday night in Shanghai.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.