David Levy's abrupt departure from Nets has everything to do with his unwillingness to be 'expert in U.S.-China relations'

Rick Laughland

David Levy's resignation as CEO of the Brooklyn Nets came as a shock to many, but when you read between the lines in his most recent interview with Bloomberg, it's quite evident why the former executive decided to step down. 

“What I didn’t know when I took this job, I didn’t know that my job description I was going to have to become an expert in U.S.-China relations,” Levy said, referring the controversy that started with Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet backing the Hong Kong protestors.

Joseph Tsai issued an open letter in the immediate aftermath of Morey's tweet that essentially vindicated the Chinese Government of any blame and cast light on the intricacies of a delicate, but age-old policy that wasn't changing anytime soon. 

While NBA players refrained from speaking on the topic both during the China games and after, Tsai's comments were not well-received by many throughout the United States and a public relations nightmare ensued.

Many notable NBA players, coaches and front office personnel have been outspoken and critical of the current administration in the White House, but they haven't voiced their displeasure with the widespread oppression and atrocities being committed in China under a Communist regime. 

Levy didn't provide further details on his exit from Brooklyn, other than to cite that the decision was mutual among both parties. It's pretty clear where Levy stands on the topic and with an owner that has business ties to China and isn't willing to damage that relationship beyond repair, the team owner and CEO simply don't see eye to eye on the topic. 

“Whatever corporation you’re in or country you live in, you should remain loyal to the values you have. Period,” Levy said.