NBA should take charge and cancel China Games before China does

Rick Laughland

Enough is enough. That should be the message from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as he would be wise to pull the plug on the planned China Games Thursday night. 

It's still unclear whether China will even permit the games to go on as scheduled. Press events, community events, and Chinese sponsorship deals have already been cancelled this week in light of Houston GM Daryl Morey's critical tweet of the Hong Kong protests. 

China has made it clear that it's drawing a land in the sand with the NBA after a prominent GM took a stand against the country's central government and it's time for the league to make democracy a priority over diplomacy. 

While it's clear that an international incident isn't something that should be in the cards for both sides, Nets owner Joseph Tsai urging the rest of the league to bow down to Communist China isn't something that the NBA should follow. 

Things don't need to be escalated, but just how China has try to illustrate that they don't need the NBA, the league needs to punch back by returning their players safely back home and cancelling the planned event. 

If China pulls the plug before the NBA does, it will make the league look like it got caught with its pants down. Clearly Silver and the NBA wasn't looking to pick a fight, but China's dictorial government couldn't take the smallest amount of criticism within striking back with a vengeance at the league. 

So far, coaches, GMs, players and league executives have remained silent on the matter with a billion-plus dollars on the line in that market. At some point,  a country's standards and founding principals have to trump any financial gain the league will benefit from for just sitting back and letting a foreign nation dictate to it.  

The time is now for the NBA to beat China to the punch and cancel the China Games and return home with a shred of dignity.