China is dead serious about its recent decision to cut ties with the Houston Rockets. The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has decided to call off scheduled exhibition games involving the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers:
Sources: In response to social media events over weekend, China (Chinese Basketball Association) has canceled NBA G League’s planned exhibition games between Rockets affiliate (Rio Grande Valley) and Dallas Mavericks affiliate (Texas) scheduled later this month in China.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 7, 2019
China is working to sever all ties with the Rockets following general manager Daryl Morey’s now-deleted tweet showing support for Hong Kong. The protests in Hong Kong have been making international headlines over the past months, as residents continue to protest against China’s communist rule over Hong Kong.
The Rockets have tried their best to appease the situation, with owner Tilman Fertitta himself stating that Morey’s thoughts do not represent that of the whole team. Morey himself released a new statement on the matter, and James Harden apologized to China. It appears to be too little, too late, with China already believing that the damage has been done.
By canceling the G League exhibition games of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, China is making it abundantly clear that it fully intends to follow through on its initial statement. This situation has escalated very quickly, and it appears that there’s no turning back at this point.
Surely, the Rockets will try to do the best they can to salvage whatever connection they still have with the nation, but there is no question that the relationship is now scarred. There have been talks of Houston’s front office parting ways with Morey just because of his single tweet, though there are no current plans to do that.