PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t letting the recent controversy between the NBA and China stop their plans for Tuesday night’s home game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions. The tension started with a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong, the region embroiled in pro-democracy clashes with China for months.
That tweet sparked major backlash that included a decision by Chinese television not to televise the NBA’s preseason games.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the controversy, as did representatives for the Sixers organization.
“We are, at the end of the day, an American-based company. Of course we do business all around the world, but those values, those mores travel with us,” Silver said.
“We played in China last year and it was an incredible experience for our team and our organization. We love our fans there, the passion, the intensity they have for our sport. And I think, most importantly, the game of basketball possesses an incredible power to bring people together,” said Dave Sholler, vice president of communications for the Sixers.
The NBA draws a significant audience from China as the league has a $1.5 billion streaming deal with a Chinese company.
The Sixers and the Lions will tip-off at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m.