OK, China. It’s been a minute, but to recap, Morey, the Houston Rockets’ GM, sent a tweet in October in support of Hong Kong protestors just as the Lakers and Nets were getting set to play exhibition games in China. The Chinese government was very upset, and there was significant backlash. The NBA is still not on government-run TV there, and the financial loss to the league from ties being severed by Chinese business partners is substantial. For the first time Saturday, Silver kind of quantified the loss. He said the league’s reduced salary cap for next season, from $116 million down to $115 million, was due in part to losses in China. 11. “I think that the magnitude of the loss will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Silver said. “Certainly, probably less than $400 million, maybe even less than that. It’s substantial.
I don’t want to run from that. We were taken off the air in China for a period of time, and it caused our many business partners in China to feel it was, therefore, inappropriate to have ongoing relationships with us. But I don’t have any sense that there’s any permanent damage to our business there, and as I’ve said before, we accept the consequences of our system and our values. It’s not a position any business wants to be in, but those are the results.” If it’s “probably” less than $400 million, it’s safe to say the controversy cost the NBA $300 million anyway.