LeBron James said he believes Daryl Morey was “misinformed and not educated on the situation” when the Houston Rockets general manager tweeted in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Oct. 4.
“I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl but I believe he wasn’t educated about the situation at hand and he spoke,” James said Monday, ahead of the Lakers preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.
“Just be careful what we tweet … even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech. But there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”
The relationship between the NBA and China was disrupted after Morey’s tweet, which has since been deleted. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta denounced the tweet and said the Rockets were “not a political organization” and that Morey did not speak for the team.
Hong Kong has seen months of protests and increasing violence between demonstrators and police, originally sparked by a proposal that would have allowed extradition from the semi-autonomous territory to mainland China.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a tense meeting with player from the Brooklyn Nets and Lakers last week when he arrived in Shanghai to address the situation, sources told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
During the meeting, sources said, several prominent players voiced frustration about their perception that they were being put in the middle of the dispute between the NBA and China, and they said they were unhappy about being asked to address the situation by local Chinese reporters before Silver himself was scheduled to do so.
“I think when we talk about the political side, I think it’s a very delicate situation,” James said Monday. “Very sensitive situation. For me personally, if any of you guys know me or always cover me, you guys know when I speak about something, I speak about something I’m very knowledgeable about. Something that hits home for me. Something I’m very passionate about. I feel like with this particular situation, not only was I not informed enough about– I just felt like it was something not only myself or my teammates or our organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time. And we still feel the same way.”