As Nets Prepare for Preseason Games in China, Owner Embroiled in Political Firestorm

Justin Rimpi

The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to head to China to play in two preseason games against the Los Angeles Lakers so the league can expand their game in the Asian nation, and assist both teams in preparing for what is sure much anticipated 2019-2020 season.

  Instead, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves in the middle of a stand-off between the Chinese government and the NBA itself. This whole issue began when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted out something that said the world should stand with the Hong Kong protesters as they push the Chinese government to provide them with more rights.

To put it mildly, that take by Morey really upset the Chinese government, and it caused the Nets owner to respond to the Rockets GM. Joseph Tsai put out a statement that he did not agree with the sentiments of Morey, and that he believed the rest of the world should not stand with the protesters in Hong Kong.

Granted, Tsai is a business man that made his monies in the country of China through his company of the Alibaba Group, but Tsai has been ruthlessly attacked by the American media over the last 72 hours for his beliefs.

The statement by Tsai caused the new Nets owner to come off poorly, and is placing his new team in a tough position. Due to the statement by Morey, the Chinese government cancelled an NBA Cares event the Nets were supposed to take part in on Tuesday. No explanation was given for the sudden cancellation. 

The Nets were set to visit a school to interact with Chinese youth, but that was squashed  by the Chinese government as the political firestorm rolls on. 

The Nets have two games in China on October 10 and October 12, but those games will have an air of uncertainty over them as the NBA and the country are at odds.

The NBA must decide whether to sever their relationship with China, and no longer decide to play games there, or turn a blind eye to the policies of an oppressive Chinese regime.

Once the Brooklyn Nets return from China, they finish up their preseason on October 19 against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. 

The 2019-2020 Nets season tips off on October 23 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. The Nets hope that in two weeks time, this issue will blow over and the team will not have any distractions for what is their most anticipated season in years.