Former NBA center Andrew Bogut recently poked fun at the NBA’s extremely sensitive relationship with China.
In a tweet on Saturday, Bogut offered an unconventional solution to Nets power forward Kevin Durant, who expressed his desire to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets.
“An easy way for KD to get out of @joetsai1999’s @BrooklynNets that no NBA analyst is discussing. A simple tweet: ‘Free Hong Kong, Free Taiwan.’ Gone the next day …” Bogut wrote...
Bogut’s tweet is an apparent shot at Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, who is known to be an ardent supporter of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
NBA player Enes Kanter, who is an outspoken pro-Taiwan advocate, called Tsai out as a “coward & puppet” of the CCP last year.
Tsai, a Taiwanese-born Canadian citizen, is the co-founder of the Chinese tech firm Alibaba. He has a history of showing disapproval towards statements that could be interpreted as anti-CCP.
In one incident, former Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey was removed from a lodging reservation in New York after tweeting “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” The room was reportedly canceled because Morey’s tweet bothered Tsai.
China is a major market for the league, which generates hundreds of millions in annual revenue from Chinese fans. Principal owners in the league were also found to have over $10 billion tied up in investments in China.
This is why Morey’s controversial tweet was a massive blow for the NBA, as it led to the league being banned from Chinese state TV for nearly three seasons and avoided by some sponsors.
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