The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show

The NBA. 29 of the world’s
best basketball teams, and, also, the Knicks. (laughter, groaning) The regular season
hasn’t even kicked off yet, but there’s already been a ton
of drama. Now, if you haven’t been
keeping up, last week, the general manager
of the Houston Rockets posted a tweet in support of the pro-democracy protests
in Hong Kong. And the NBA quickly put out a
statement distancing themselves from that tweet. What was funny about this,
though, was that the English version of
the statement was very different from what
it was being translated to for the Chinese Internet. So, like, in English, the
statement was basically like, “Hey, China,
we’re sorry you’re offended.” But then, the Mandarin was like,
“Rest assured, China, we will feed this man
to the wolves.” But then, here in America,
people were pissed that the NBA was kowtowing
to China, right? So yesterday, they went
into damage control mode. And things have only escalated
from there. There’s new fallout this evening in the NBA’s firestorm
with China. MAN: The NBA tonight fighting
back after being blasted for caving to China’s
communist government. Commissioner Adam Silver
defending Houston Rockets’ GM
Daryl Morey. We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression. MAN 2: Shortly after Adam Silver
voiced the league’s support for free speech, fresh backlash from the communist regime
in Beijing. MAN 1: China’s government
tonight digging in, cancelling a Brooklyn Nets
event at a Shanghai school. MAN 3: In the last few hours,
China has started pulling down Lakers
and Nets signage. MAN 2: At least two
major Chinese retailers have pulled
Houston Rockets’ merchandise from their websites. China state TV said
it won’t broadcast or stream NBA pre-season games
in China. Oh, no! Not the pre-season! No! (laughter) Nobody cares
about the pre-season games. Fans in America are like,
“Can you ban them here, as well? Can you, uh…?” Yeah, the pre-season is just,
like, the boring stuff we’re forced to sit through
before the main event. Like, China banning pre-season is like Disney getting rid
of its lines. Just like,
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have “to go straight
to the rides from now on! I wish it didn’t come to this!” “Oh, no.” Still, though,
China is seriously pissed off about the tweet, right? And they’re also pissed off
about the response from the NBA. And they aren’t just taking
pre-season games off the air. They’re also cancelling
NBA events, they’re ripping down
NBA signs everywhere. In fact, like,
everything NBA-related is basically banned. Yeah. No basketball, no LeBron.
In fact, no jumping. Yeah. You see a puddle, you just walk
right through that shit. (laughter) And you can have donuts,
but no Dunkin’. And all office workers in China, if you need to throw something
in the trash, none of this.
No buzzer beaters. You get out, and you just
place it gently in the bin. (laughter) So China is basically going
to war with the NBA, all because of a single tweet. And as surprising
as that may seem to some people, the truth is, this kind of thing
has been happening between China
and American companies a lot. The NBA not the only one feeling
the heat, either. U.S. jeweler Tiffany
also under fire after tweeting an image of a
Chinese model covering one eye with people believing
it was done in solidarity with those Hong Kong protests. Nike,
bowing to pressure from Beijing, pulling a sneaker
from the Chinese market. MAN: Activision has suspended a
professional video game player and taken away his prize money. Apple took the Taiwan emoji off
its keyboard if you are in Hong Kong
or Macao. MAN: Marriott apologized
to the Chinese government. WOMAN: Versace, Givenchy,
and Coach issued apologizes. MAN: Mercedes-Benz is offering
an apology. WOMAN: The Gap issued
a sincere apology. WOMAN 2:
Delta saying, “We apologize deeply
for the mistake.” Damn. China gets offended
by a lot of shit. They’re like
that one guy at work who takes everything personally. You’re just like,
“Hey, man, I like your shoes.” Like, “Oh, wow. So you don’t
like looking at me feet?” “Uh, no, I-I do like your feet”” “Gross. You’re a pervert.” Now here’s the thing. The truth is,
these companies don’t have to take orders from China
about what to say or how to act, but they do it
because nobody wants to lose access
to a billion Chinese customers. It’s a powerful incentive. So powerful, in fact, that China’s influence
is affecting how Americans can act
on American soil. NEWSWOMAN: Tonight’s game
between the 76ers and China’s team,
the Guangzhou Loong Lions, went on as planned
as an international firestorm hangs over
the Wells Fargo Center. And on the sidelines,
Sam Wachs and his wife held “Free Hong Kong”
and “Free HK” signs that were confiscated by
security in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter,
both got kicked out of the game when Wachs started yelling,
“Free Hong Kong!” As someone
who used to live there, he supports the movement. That’s right.
Fans in Philadelphia got kicked out
of a basketball game last night for chanting, “Free Hong Kong.” And I didn’t realize
that yelling shit at a basketball game was
against the rules. I mean, that must have been
so confusing for all the other fans,
you know? ‘Cause this guy is there like,
“Free Hong Kong!” And then the guy next to him
was probably like, “Hey, Ben Simmons,
suck a Kardashian (bleep)!” And then security’s like,
“You! Get out! “No, not you.
No, the ‘Free Hong Kong’ guy. “You keep going. That stuff
about the Kardashian (bleep), that was hilarious.
Carry on.” For more
on the complicated relationship between China
and American businesses, we turn to our senior
NBA correspondent, Ronny Chieng, everybody! (cheering, applause) Ronny… this is a really, really
contentious issue right now. What are your thoughts
on all of this? Trevor, this whole thing
is more disappointing than every meal I’ve eaten
at P.F. Chang’s, okay? That place is fake Chinese. I’m so glad General Tso isn’t
around to see what they’ve done. Quite frankly, I’m shocked
at how these American companies have behaved, okay? It’s complete bullshit, and they
should be ashamed of themselves. Wow. Ronny, you know,
this-this takes guts. Like, everyone else seems afraid
to… to speak up about China, but you taking a stand
is very brave. Well, someone has to say it. In fact, I want to talk
to China directly. (clears throat) -(laughter)
-Wow! Ronny, like, I don’t understand
what you’re saying, but I can feel
your passion, man. Tr-Trevor, please,
I’m not finished. Preach, brother, preach! -Whoo!
-(cheering, applause) Wow! Wow. Ronny, that-that is amazing. Did you… did you mention me? ‘Cause, like,
I thought I heard my name. Oh, oh, y-yeah, yeah,
I said you’re… you’re my hero and my friend. (laughter) I’m honored, Ronny. You’re my hero and my friend. How-how do I say that
in Chinese? Oh, uh…
(speaks Chinese) Oh. Close enough. Ronny Chieng, everybody.

About the author


  1. Silver changed his spineless position once he saw that the political winds were against him. Now he's trying to save face and be a bit tougher. Better late than never I guess, but if he had a real spine, he'd tell China to go pound sand, and that we're pulling the NBA out of your country, and we're also giving our sneaker and attire contract to the best company who makes the products in America. Silver needs to learn to use the powerful leverage which the NBA brand has.

  2. Fredom of speech, twit all you want. China has freedom of choice whether to do business with You or not. Stop bitching.

  3. It's not about Chinese easily triggered by everything or memes. It is simply because Chinese EXTREMELY cherish their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nothing else can compare to this. Sovereignty and territorial integrity to China is like LGBT to leftist or N word to african american. You try to describe several random things which made Chinese triggered but they seems to me are the same, nothing more than some separatists.
    All in all, it's not about freedom of speech or China try to interfere American's freedom of speech, nothing at all. It is only about mutual respect. You cann't sell things to mideast and insult islam at the same time. If u do any business with China, that is the bottom line. I think it's fair. Sovereignty and territorial integrity to Chinese is like LGBT and N word in US, remeber that and you will understand that how simple the problem is. It has never been a "freedom of speech" topic at all.

  4. this rocket mothfuker support hongkong isis rioter protester? these rioters set up another IED bomb again today, evil us bastard. your cia start this violent you dont know?

  5. I am pro HK and all, but U never see a Chinese company trading with the US say free Iran from US sanctions. See what happened to ZTE for executing its freetrade rights.

  6. Didn't America deny an Iranian student entry because his friend wrote something they did not like on Twitter😳😳! ? Both the US and China are sensoring speech. China is just doing it better than the US

  7. There are always bottom line from every country, if any popular people tweets “Korean Comfort women is a lie, stand with Japan”, that will piss of Korea too. “Free Catalonia , fight for freedom “ that will piss off Spanish people. Country unification is the most important bottom line In China, emotionally and politically. Don’t hurt other country’s feeling. Can someone tweets “ we should bring BLACK Restroom back to the public”, that hurts African Americans.(no offense guys).

  8. What happened in HK is riots, why u support riots that hurt civilians? U are in the wrong foot and don't understand the matter but faculty jump into conclusions. That's why u don't know your country support terrorists in the middle east? Dumb S

  9. Lebron James is a disgrace all Americans should boycott him and his team. He doesn't need our money. Chairman Xi will write him a 1 billion dollar check.

  10. We should Boycott James and the Lakers till they apologize in promoting Communism and supporting violence against HK citizens

  11. Morley and Silver are a pair of loud mouth low life. Inciting violence endorsing terrorists in Hong Kong are accomplice to criminals.

  12. While China has forced organ harvesting all over China from political prisoners of conscience you point the finger at the USA.Google ART WALDRON from the University of Pennsylvania and what he says about this…there is social EVIL and then there is pure EVIL…China is BOTH

  13. His mandarin is 100% southern Malaysia/Singapore. I speak mandarin like this too. His English is kind of a hybrid with some Malaysian elements.

  14. Well… I am a huge fan of the daily show but it’s very disappointing after watching Trevor’s comment. First of all, it is not just a protest in Hongkong; the protestors are attacking infrastructures, burning subway, assaulting pedestrians whoever don’t support them. It is a riot, not a peaceful protest. What kind of protest would burn subway and attack police’s FAMILY? American media almost never reported the damage those protesters have done to the city and to other innocent people, just watch BBC if you want to know what’s really going on in Hong Kong. China is having problem with the NBA GM supporting this riot (clearly he doesn’t know it is a riot bec of the media, and still thinks it is just a democratic protest), the misunderstanding of the situation is what lead the conflict.

  15. Of course China will do this. I guess Americans don't have the sense of sovereignty, so we have the freedom to stop doing business with you dumpass. I

  16. Gets paid tens of millions of dollars to play a sport in a country where he is extremely critical of the government. Then basically defends the Chinese government by wanting people to remain silent "for a week" on a issue. Meanwhile people disappear in China for speaking up about the government. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy with this guy?

  17. Free Hebei also…. I come from Hebei where Beijing City taking everything vauleable from us and froceing us to take over its dirty factories… thanks for your support🙃

  18. I wish Americans would find out the whole truth about Hong Kong before they make public comments about it. I guess it's not their fault because their news sources are only telling them half the truth!

  19. american media and american people think every thing in other countries can be talk as a joke. A whole country wont let anyone point out a stupid book called Bible and believe the story in that book. a whole country brainwashed believe there will be a god exist and that god will support their country for some ridiculous believe system.

  20. can anyone really understand their own government?so everyone should be quiet,so shut up and take my money,thats chinese logic

  21. "NBA vs China"? Serious? When you sell something to your customer, do you describe the relationship as "Business vs consumer"? Don't mix up low EQ and stupidity with freedom of speech!

  22. NBC is sick, mentioning "communist" or "state" several times as if the Chinese are some aliens. It's a pity some 200 state-owned companies in Asian democratic countries were forced to privatize and have the shares being acquired by Western companies after the Asian Financial Crisis caused by the George Soros, i.e. a tremendous lost of sovereignty by those countries and workers in those companies no longer working for their own country but for the West unwilling. Let's not mix up sovereignty with communism. Let's be clear. The fact that China has many state-owned companies only reveals the ability to protect its national interest by the Chinese, as well as the sinister intention to acquire and control Chinese key business by the American capitalists. It's also a shame that the Americans aren't even aware of the fact that NBC is state-controlled. Why would a neutral program try so hard to denigrate the Chinese using "communism"?

  23. As a teenager living in Hong Kong, I can tell you that Hong Kong protestors are extremely violent, they throw hundreds of petrol bombs to the policeman, and even stabbed one policeman in the neck. They also burnt Bank of China, restaurants like Starbucks, and our railway stations. Please don’t support violence protest, because from my own observation, these protesters are far more evil than our government.

  24. The long-held values of the NBA are to support the freedom of expression, Ten thousand Chinese voicing their support for 911 in revenge to the support of Hong Kong protests by USA

  25. Americans are so not used to someone else becomes an even bigger market to be able to ban this and that. It used to be US's unshared privilege.

  26. Let's just cancel stop buying their crap cheap products and buy your own . No more out sourcing. let's have in-house sourcing

  27. Commenting what you don't konw freely without knowing it clearly is not freedom of matter what you say,you need to be responsible for your words. Not a single word you can say, before you konw it.

  28. I would love to see a US corporation write a social post on Social Media saying.

    "We Support the DBS movement. We stand for Palestinian rights."

    I would love to see how quickly they would be boycotted in the US, ripped apart socially by those same US politicians and labelled as Anti Semites.

    The Hong Kong movement is not a movement for democracy. It is a Secessionist, anti China pro independence movement.

    Many people in Hong Kong worship everything Western and look down on everything from Mainland China. They look at Mainland Chinese with resentment, racism, contempt and with outmost disdain. Many people in Hong Kong look down on Mainland Chinese and see them as inferior beings and culturally beneath them. They don't want any association with mainland China because they are racist against Mainland Chinese. That is why they vehemently do not want to be called as Chinese or want any association with Mainland China. They see themselves as culturally superior to the mainland Chinese and they cling onto their British cultural heritage to differentiate themselves from the mainland Chinese. That is why they want to be called Hong Kongers and refuse to be called or refered as Chinese. Now the US is adding fuel to the fire and supporting this secessionst movement masquerading it's support as supporting democracy and freedom knowing full well that this is about secession.

    This has nothing to do with democracy or dictatorship.

    It has all to do with secession, cultural and National identity.

    These people simply refuse to accept that they are now part of China and cling on their British past to differentiate and place themselves apart from mainland China.

    Hong Kong is like that mixed kid you know that loves their white father's heritage and doesn't want any association with their Asian mother's culture, food, language or heritage.

    They are full of self hatred and they cling onto their white father's culture and look down on their Asian mother's culture.

    "Hong Kong is not China is their slogan".

    They want independence from China.

    The autonomous goverment of Hong Kong is completely separate from the government in Beijing when it comes to the internal affairs of Hong Kong.

    This same Government just wanted Hong Kong to have the same extradition treaty with mainland China that Hong Kong already has with 20 other nations including the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. They made this move by themselves, not by Beijing's direction and rightly so. Why should Hong Kong have extradition treaties with 20 other nations and not with it's own mother country?

    The British never gave Hong Kong universal suffrage. When the people of Hong Kong rose up in social protest against British colonialism against the British in 1967 and 1926 the British immidiately and brutally put down those protests with their military using life fire.

    31 People were killed in less than 2 weeks in 1967 alone, newspapers and radio stations were shut down by the military, people were arrested for sedition, the all city was placed on a curfew with armed soldiers patrolling the streets, people were rounded up and jailed including reporters, politicians and social activists. This under the order of the then UK appointed Governor of Hong Kong.

    Where is the Chinese military in this latest protests? In their barracks. How many protesters have been killed in these protests? Not a single one.

  29. Talking about Hong Kong in China is like racial discrimination in the United States

    It's like someone's raising the flag of racism in the NBA.

  30. This was a good thing that happened for the American people because it exposes how the Chinese govt uses what is called “Barbarian Management” which is the principle that China will treat the leaders of the US including corporate leaders and sports hero’s like Lebron “special” by showering perks and cash at the expense of the American people. China’s ultimate goal is to get a major footprint into American corporations so they can determine who gets hired or fired based on their social media score as it relates to China . This way China can continue with human rights violations and climate damage at will and without fear of repercussions or boycott from the #1 democratic customer and superpower. So if they can get guys like Lebron or Silver on their side by giving them a bunch of cash then maybe they can use their power to get guys like Morley fired. This is the blueprint to be used against every American who dares to exercise their free speech rights against China. This tact almost worked until it backfired due to Lebron’s clumsy response.

    Chinas tactics are a true threat to free speech in America. No one should lose their job for voicing their support for democracy.

  31. The guys chinese is sooo poor
    And shit that me as a 老外 speek better. Leave China alone and do ur bussines. In China noone posted anything about protests in California or against Trump. I really dont like US people cus you think the world is yours just cus you have an army. Before u say something give the land back to native american people!

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