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James Harden After GM's Hong Kong Tweet: "We Love China"

(via Teller Report)

(via Teller Report)

First, it was Rockets' owner Tilman Fertitta, then it was NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and now it's Houston star, James Harden. One by one, it seems the league is kicking their damage control protocol into 4th gear.

Following a Daryl Morey tweet supporting protestors in China, the nation (and the CBA) has cut all ties with the team -- and the NBA could be next.

People have chosen their sides, and it seems those in the league have (understandably) chosen the money over the political narrative. In a long-shot attempt at defusing the tension, James Harden sent out a warm message to the people of China, likely prompted by Tilman and team executives.

“We apologize,” Harden told reporters. “You know, we love China. We love playing there. For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.”

Morey’s tweet, which read specifically as “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” has caused nothing short of an international incident in the NBA, something that, as commissioner Silver said, has affected the league’s bottom line.

It is unlikely Harden's words did much of anything to calm things down. Morey's job is in serious jeopardy, the words can never be taken back, and the community is less than pleased at the NBA for throwing Morey, and democratic principles, under the bus for the sake of funding.

The damage is done. And for as much power as James Harden wields on the court, this is one crisis he is powerless over.