Skip to main content

Daryl Morey Finally Speaks On Hong Kong Incident: "I Was Extremely Concerned. You Don't Want The Second-Most Powerful Government On Earth Mad At You, If You Can Avoid It."


Daryl Morey almost set the NBA on fire the last offseason, when he showed his support to Hong Kong protestors. The then Houston Rockets General Manager didn't hesitate to send a tweet supporting the people in Hong Kong struggling against the Chinese government, but that decision almost cost a lot of money to the NBA.

Back in the day, everybody had something to say about Morey's situation, claiming that he didn't pick the right time to send his tweet. One of those was LeBron James, who went further and said Morey first had to learn about the people in Hong Kong and their situation before making any claim. Morey recently revealed that he's known people over there for several years now and he knew very well what they were going through.

Via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

The question so many have posed is why Morey felt compelled to take on the issue. While his team was in China during the height of the controversy, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers questioned Morey's timing and his knowledge of the topic.

"I don't want to get in a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke," James said at the time. "And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually."

What James did not know was that Morey had befriended a number of Hong Kong residents while attending business school and had intimate knowledge of the challenges they faced living in a semi-autonomous region. His decision to tweet his support was neither rash nor uninformed, but a conscious effort to express his solidarity for people he knew well.

The league could save their deals with China, one of the biggest markets for basketball, but the Houston Rockets and now the Philadelphia 76ers have been affected by Morey's decision. However, the executive isn't showing any remorse for his actions and he's claimed he's "comfortable" with his tweet.

Asked months later if he regrets his decision to support the protests in Hong Kong, Morey paused for several seconds before responding, "I'm very comfortable with what I did."

Yet, that didn't prevent people from sending threats to him, and Morey was well aware that having China against him was something that nobody would like to experience.

"I was actually really, really worried about that," Morey said. He declined to elaborate on the specific threats. "Luckily I had [access to] different people who were assisting me with that and giving me advice on how to handle it," he said. "Hopefully, I've been able to get where we have some level of safety.

"But I was extremely concerned. You don't want the second-most powerful government on Earth mad at you, if you can avoid it. In this case, I couldn't."

Morey is entering a new season with the Philadelphia 76ers, a team with a lot of pressure to compete in the Eastern Conference. He did a good job putting together a team that can help Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons compete but time will tell how far they can go in the playoffs.