"We simply could not operate that way", Silver said in a statement. The humorous statement follows a global online row caused by a tweet posted by Daryl Morey, the general manager of Houston Rockets, a team playing in the National Basketball Association, in which he supports the Hong Kong protesters for more political freedom and oppose Beijing policies. "Xi doesn't look just like Winnie the Pooh at all", the statement continued, referring to China's ban on the AA Milne character, after widespread circulation of memes comparing China's president Xi Jinping to the honey-loving teddy bear.
The NBA's decades-long push to develop China into its biggest overseas market appeared increasingly in jeopardy on Tuesday (Oct 8) as the league's commissioner stood firm in the face of criticism from Beijing and the Chinese threatened financial repercussions. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful.
"Silver's about face, which will definitely give a shot to the arms of the rioters in Hong Kong, shows his organisation is willing to be another handy tool for U.S. interference in the special administrative region", the state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial.
"South Park" also has drawn the ire of China.
Long-running animated comedy South Park has managed to generate a new global controversy, with the series now completely banned in China in the wake of its most recent episode.
"South Park" has never been afraid to be offensive, which is why the show now virtually no longer exists in China.
"Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees", Silver said. A search of the Twitter-like social media service Weibo turns up not a single mention of South Park among the billions of past posts. In his tweet, Morey voiced support for Hong Kong protesters and their calls for democracy, drawing the ire of the communist regime. China has accused the West of stirring up anti-Beijing sentiment in Hong Kong. "What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences".
Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted an image of a slogan supporting Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters on Friday.
In a subplot also set in China, Randy's son Stan and his band Crimson Dawn are approached by a music producer who wants to make a biopic about the band.
"Official apology to China from Trey Parker and Matt Stone".
The creators of satirical animated series "South Park" issued a mocking "apology" to China after media reports that episodes of the show were no longer available on some Chinese websites.
Since Morey's tweet, The NBA, the Rockets, and even star James Harden have been attempting to subdue the situation as Chinese groups expressed their dismay.