China Rumors

Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote to the commissioner of the NBA on Thursday, demanding answers over the organization’s relationship to a basketball training camp in the Xinjiang region in China — and accusing the organization of having misled lawmakers. In the letter, dated Thursday, the senators say “it is our understanding that the NBA has not been forthcoming with members of the Senate regarding questions surrounding the NBA’s relationship with the Xinjiang basketball academy.”
Communication exchanges between the NBA and Congress over the association’s relationship with the Chinese are growing more tense. In the most recent correspondence, two U.S. senators purport that the NBA deceived Congressional members about its involvement in a youth basketball academy based in a controversial region of China. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are “deeply concerned” about reports of abuse at the league’s youth-development program in Xinjiang and suggests that an NBA executive fabricated the timeline of its dealings with the academy, according to a two-page letter that lawmakers sent Thursday to commissioner Adam Silver. Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the letter.
In a July 21 letter to Blackburn and first reported by SI, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum wrote that the NBA had ended its relationship with the Xinjiang basketball academy more than a year ago. However, ESPN and the New York Times have both reported that the NBA’s Xinjiang academy was operational as recently as last summer. The ESPN story, citing anonymous sources, characterized the league’s original statement to Blackburn as “completely inaccurate.” “Therefore, it is our understanding that the NBA has not been forthcoming with members of the Senate,” Blackburn and Rubio’s letter says. “If true, this is unacceptable.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., joined “The Story” Thursday to discuss a bombshell ESPN report alleging that Chinese coaches at three NBA training academies in the Asian country physically abused their players and failed to provide them with promised schooling. “It’s a very disturbing report,” Cotton told host Martha MacCallum. As one of the [NBA] employees said, these were basically sweatshops for young Chinese kids. And the NBA employees saw the worst kinds of child abuse. “They even,” Cotton said later, “had one of these camps in northwestern China, where China is running reeducation gulags for a religious minority … they liken it to Nazi Germany in World War II. I understand the NBA has deep financial ties to China, but you have to ask at some point, what’s wrong with the NBA?”
According to the NBA Academy website, the players in these academies range from 14 to 18 years old. Tatum told ESPN that officials in the N.B.A.’s New York office, including Commissioner Adam Silver, were not aware of broad mistreatment of players. In Xinjiang, the N.B.A. “didn’t have the authority or the ability to take direct action against any of these local coaches,” Tatum said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Wednesday pushed for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to testify before Congress after the league replied to a letter he’d sent earlier this month regarding the protection of players who publicly criticize Communist China. In the letter to Silver, Hawley asked why the league was allowing players to wear certain political messages on their jerseys while disallowing anything critical of the CCP. “Conspicuously missing from the list of approved phrases are any in support of the victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including the people of Hong Kong, whose remaining freedoms are being extinguished by the CCP’s newly-enacted national security law,” he wrote. “Given the NBA’s troubled history of excusing and apologizing for the brutal repression of the Chinese Communist regime, these omissions are striking. Last October, you no doubt recall, you chose to apologize to the CCP after Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, spoke up on behalf of the Hong Kong protestors.
The NBA ran into myriad problems by opening one of the academies in Xinjiang, a police state in western China where more than a million Uighur Muslims are now held in barbed-wire camps. American coaches were frequently harassed and surveilled in Xinjiang, the sources said. One American coach was detained three times without cause; he and others were unable to obtain housing because of their status as foreigners.
A former league employee compared the atmosphere when he worked in Xinjiang to “World War II Germany.” In an interview with ESPN about its findings, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum, who oversees international operations, said the NBA is “reevaluating” and “considering other opportunities” for the academy program, which operates out of sports facilities run by the Chinese government. Last week, the league acknowledged for the first time it had closed the Xinjiang academy, but, when pressed, Tatum declined to say whether human rights were a factor.
Candace Buckner: With the NBA addressing severed ties w/ a Chinese bkb camp, I wanted to share this from Steve Kerr I’m working on a piece abt coaches & their role in speaking up & Kerr, usually outspoken, admitted he didn’t like his comments re: China last yr I think this is honest reflection

Storyline: Morey's Hong Kong Tweet
The Chinese basketball league is set to allow limited numbers of spectators into games this Sunday before being fully open to fans from July 31 for playoff games in Qingdao. The Chinese Basketball Association released a statement saying that medical professionals, teachers, and police and public security officers will be eligible in the first intake of fans since the league resumed last month following a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Storyline: Coronavirus
The NBA has terminated its relationship with a Chinese-based basketball academy located in the controversial region of Xinjiang, according to a letter league executives sent to a U.S. senator. Sports Illustrated has obtained a copy of the letter, sent on Tuesday to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The note was a response to a June 30th letter Blackburn penned to NBA commissioner Adam Silver over her concerns regarding the league’s relationship with the communist country. In the NBA’s response, Mark Tatum, the association’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, answers three questions that Blackburn posed in her June letter, including one about the operation of a training center in Xinjiang, known as one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones.
The NBA has terminated its relationship with a Chinese-based basketball academy located in the controversial region of Xinjiang, according to a letter league executives sent to a U.S. senator. Sports Illustrated has obtained a copy of the letter, sent on Tuesday to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The note was a response to a June 30th letter Blackburn penned to NBA commissioner Adam Silver over her concerns regarding the league’s relationship with the communist country.
In the NBA’s response, Mark Tatum, the association’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, answers three questions that Blackburn posed in her June letter, including one about the operation of a training center in Xinjiang, known as one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones. “The NBA has had no involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year, and the relationship has been terminated,” Tatum wrote in a one-sentence response to the senator’s question.
“It is inconceivable and disrespectful for Commissioner Silver to sidestep an issue that requires real leadership,” Blackburn says in the statement. “The reply from Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum lacks the appropriate concern and responsibility that should accompany congressional correspondence. These technical answers do not address the larger questions about whether there is a conflict between their financial decisions and professed values.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Monday told Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to “have some balls for once” after the Republican criticized him – but not by name, at first – over his support for players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Cruz’s retort? His own taunt about testicular fortitude. “Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China?” the senator said to Cuban, referring to how Cuban and other NBA figures have declined to criticize Beijing for, among other things, its crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I’ll wait.”
Cruz, mocking Cuban as a “tough guy,” asked the owner if he would say “Free Hong Kong.” And if he would allow his players to put that phrase on their jerseys. And if he would condemn China’s “concentration camps w/1 million Uyhgurs,” a Muslim minority group. Cuban fired back. “I can say Black Lives Matter,” he wrote, side-stepping Cruz’s specific questions. “I can say there is systemic racism in this country. I can say there is a Pandemic that you have done little to end. I can say I care about this country first and last.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., suggested Monday he would support a subpoena of NBA commissioner Adam Silver to investigate the league’s relationship with China. Hawley expressed concern that the NBA is allowing players to wear preapproved social justice cause messages on their jerseys for causes such as Black Lives Matter but does not allow for messages relating to China or supporting law enforcement. He called a Senate Judiciary committee subpoena of Silver “a great idea.”
Hawley wrote an open letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Friday criticizing the league’s relationship with China and calling on the league to allow messages in support of police, the military and Hong Kong protesters on player jerseys. The NBA is allowing players taking part in the season’s restart to wear pre-approved messages in support of social justice on their nameplates in place of their last names. Responding to a press release emailed to him from Hawley’s office regarding the letter, Wojnarowski, ESPN’s chief NBA news-breaker, responded back: “(Expletive) you.” Hawley took the response by “Woj” public, prompting an apology from Wojnarowski.
Storyline: Adrian Wojnarowski Suspension
Nick DePaula: In a video to fans in China, Klay Thompson says, “My mind and body are 100% ready to get back on the court.” His new Anta KT5 sneaker launch is inspired by his trip last summer to a 400 year-old Chinese medical center in Shanghai and the treatment he received there.

A U.S. Senator is demanding answers from NBA commissioner Adam Silver on his league’s relationship with China. In a letter sent Tuesday to Silver, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) expressed “concern” over the NBA’s dealings with a country governed by a Communist regime that has abused human rights, squashed pro-democracy protests and hidden details on the coronavirus outbreak. Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the two-page letter.
Blackburn is giving Silver a July 21 deadline to respond to three questions she poses at the letter’s end regarding China Central Television’s ban on NBA games, the league’s relationship with Chinese state-owned enterprise Alibaba and the league’s training center in the controversial region of Xinjiang. The relationship between China and the United States is at a “pivotal moment,” she writes, and it could eventually lead to a new Cold War.
The letter closes with these three questions/requests: 1. What are the anticipated financial consequences of China Central Television’s (CCTV) continued ban on the airing of NBA games? 2. Please outline the scope of the NBA’s relationship with Chinese state-owned enterprise Alibaba. 3. The NBA reportedly continues to operate a training center Xinjiang, one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones. What steps is the NBA taking to shutter this location?
Amar’e Stoudemire retired from the NBA in 2016 but continued his career overseas playing for Hapoel Jerusalem, the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and Maccabi Tel Aviv. One of the things he learned was exploring the world. “I enjoy the beautiful coaches around the world especially in Europe and in the Middle East. The Chinese culture was fun for me. Also in Europe going to Athens (Greece), Spain, Russia and these countries that I probably would’ve never experienced or wanted to go to,” Stoudemire said.
The Chinese basketball league has restarted after an almost five-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer foreign players and no fans in the stands. The CBA was suspended on Jan. 24 after the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, a week before it was scheduled to return following a spring break at the end of the regular season. The semifinals stage started Saturday, with 20 teams divided into two divisions and limited venues to reduce travel. All stadiums are closed to fans.
Not everybody was in attendance to receive the ring on opening night. Former Raptors reserve is now playing for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball League. He didn’t get his ring until January. The Raptors hand-delivered it to a family member in California, who brought it to Lin in China. Lin (from Inside the Green Room with ): “Funny story actually. I tried to get them to ship it. I was like, ‘Hey, just ship out the ring.’ The Raptors were kinda like, ‘Hey, not sure how to explain this to you but this isn’t really an item that you ship.’ And I’m like, ‘Why? It’s not that big. It should be pretty simple.’ They’re like, ‘Well, one, it’s a really precious item but, two, there’s a lot of other stuff that comes with it.’ I didn’t know at the time there was the jacket from Drake, there was the bottle of champagne and a video game.”
2 months ago via TSN

Daryl Morey not in the hot seat for Hong Kong tweet

The topic of the Hong Kong tweet has come up again lately. The President brought it up. It came up on your CNBC interview. What would you want people to know about your position about that issue? Tilman Fertitta: “The tweet was seven words. There was nothing wrong with the tweet. That’s why one hour later I told ESPN when I was asked ‘Are you going to get rid of Daryl Morey,’ I was like, ‘Are you crazy? Why would I get rid of Daryl for that tweet?’ I think Daryl’s one of the best general managers in the league. Plus, we truly enjoy working with each other. To this day, we plan on working with each other and I expect Daryl to be here for years to come.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 20 more rumors

Chinese league to resume on June 20

After months of speculation the Chinese Basketball Association has confirmed that the league season will resume after its coronavirus suspension on June 20, according to an official statement. An announcement on their Weibo account said that the CBA’s new proposal had been approved by the Sports and Health departments, with preparations for the restart well under way. The CBA is the first of China’s major sports to announce a restart.
2 months ago via SCMP

Storyline: Morey's Hong Kong Tweet