The NBA returns to China after a ban of almost three years because of the tweet by Daryl Morey, then GM of the Houston Rockets, in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The message in networks of the executive of the league triggered an unprecedented crisis in the coffers of the competition, which lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to the breakdown of relations with the Asian country.
The authoritarian regime in Beijing crossed over to the NBA, one of the most influential American companies in the Chinese market. In total, it is estimated that the league has a market of 5,000 million of dollars in the superpower, and now an investigation of the ESPN states that the owners of the 30 franchises havein addition, others $10 billion in assets in the Asian superpower.
Robert Khun, adviser to political leaders in China and to multinationals with interests in the country, remarked in ESPN the contradictions of doing business with the world’s second largest economy: “It’s a significant problem for American industry. There is a voltage between two poles. Seeing companies promoting social justice in America and then keeping quiet about what would be perceived as much worse in China… that will be a problem for the rest of our working lives.”
The commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, and his second in command, joined this trend of silence by not wanting to comment on the investigation with the American media. Mike Bass, spokesman for the league, did share a terse statement: “We continue to believe that exporting NBA television rights to more than 200 countries and territories around the world, including China, is consistent with our mission to inspire and connect with people from all over the world. anywhere thanks to the power of basketball.
Business volume of NBA franchise owners in China
(in millions of dollars)
Joe Tsai, Brooklyn Nets – 5,000
Micky Arison, Miami Heat – 375
Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies – 369
Tilman Fertitta, Houston Rockets – 160
Paul Jacobs, Sacramento Kings – 140
Joshua Harris, Philadelphia 76ers – 96
Michael Jordan, Charlotte Hornets – 85
The ESPN does not mention the rest of the owners of the competition in the report, and none of those who appear wanted to comment on it