The link to this Daily Caller piece is circulating on conservative Twitter with the claim that James tried to pressure the commissioner into punishing Morey. Before last night I would have told you that that was an uncharitable read of his point. “He’s not saying Morey should be punished,” I would have told you, “he’s saying that the league has a double standard for executives versus players. Execs get more freedom to gamble with the NBA’s bottom line than players do, which is unfair. Just apply the same standard the next time a player says something that might cost the league a buck.”
But after watching James go face-first into the tank for China in the name of the almighty dollar, I no longer think that read is unfair. He probably was nudging Silver to sanction Morey. We can’t have a double standard for executives and players, says LeBron; both should be censored equally in the name of pleasing the NBA’s Chinese masters.
James argued that if something a NBA player had tweeted had cost the league money they would have been punished, and questioned why the same wasn’t happening to Morey, according to Dave McMenamin on ESPN.
“Nearly a week ago today, in a Shanghai hotel room, or Shanghai hotel ballroom, Adam Silver got up and addressed the players, and LeBron James is one of the players who got up and spoke and said, ‘Hey, what are we doing here? Daryl Morey made these statements,’” McMenamin recalled on air Tuesday. “You know damn well if a player made the same statements and caused such poor ramifications for the league, there would be some sort of league recourse.”
“There would be repercussions the player has to pay. You know, potentially this tweet could cost the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars. That could come out of the players’ pockets, and so that’s the double standard that was being addressed in that meeting,” he continued.
There are reports on the wires this afternoon of protesters in Hong Kong destroying James-branded merchandise in disgust at his comment. Says a Twitter pal, remembering the fiasco after James ditched Cleveland for Miami, “Has anyone had their jerseys burned en masse by the residents of more cities than LeBron?”
Lakers superstar LeBron James took a hit in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, where basketball fans trampled on jerseys bearing his name after the four-time MVP waded into the NBA controversy involving the country…
“Please remember, all NBA players, what you said before: ‘Black lives matter.’ Hong Kong lives also matter!” one of the protesters, William Mok, 36, told a crowd of hundreds…
“James was trying, you know, to take a side, on the China side, which is like ridiculous,” said Aaron Lee, 36, a marketing director. “He was being honest, financially. Financial is money. Simple as that. LeBron James stands for money. Period.”
LeBron James stands for money. Period. If you want to make him rethink his fascist apologetics, you need to hit him in the wallet. The only solution is a boycott of the NBA.
Meanwhile on ESPN, here’s Stephen A. Smith mustering some righteous indignation … at Daryl Morey, for supposedly thinking only of himself when he tweeted. How the hell did we arrive at a point in this fiasco where the overt moneygrubbers like LeBron are supposedly being thoughtful while the one guy in the league willing to make a tiny gesture of support for demonstrators opposing a totalitarian state is mindlessly selfish? And what about the question raised in the tweet — until when, exactly, does Smith think Morey should have waited to send his pro-HK tweet? He can’t possibly believe that China would be okay with NBA personnel supporting the protests just as long as they waited until they’re back on U.S. soil to do so. If that’s the case, then what’s LeBron’s excuse for not speaking up in favor of Hong Kong now?
There’s more: On @espn‘s “First Take,” @stephenasmith blames *Daryl Morey* for China’s censorship and LeBron’s comments Monday, saying LeBron is right that Morey’s tweet in support of #HongKong protesters “could have waited.”
Waited for when, Stephen A.? pic.twitter.com/UQVPhBwteN
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) October 15, 2019