Originally a diplomatic incident between the NBA and China last year for supporting anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has resigned.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who was behind a diplomatic incident between the NBA and China last year for supporting anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong, resigned Thursday. “After (…) reflecting on my amazing 14 years with the Houston Rockets and chatting with my family and close friends, I decided to move away from the Rockets as of November 1,” he said affirmed in a press release.
Television ESPN and the local daily Houston Chronicle announced the departure of this figure of the Texas franchise, in charge of the Rockets’ basketball operations since the 2007-2008 season.
Loss of 400 million
His last season in this post began with a controversy. In October 2019, he had supported on Twitter pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, an autonomous territory in southern China, protesting against the local executive and central authorities.
This tweet had prompted Beijing to suspend any partnership with the North American Basketball League (NBA). Chinese television CCTV had ceased broadcasting the matches for more than a year, until Game 5 of the finals played last Friday.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had both backed Daryl Morey despite China’s calls for his dismissal and the NBA’s financial losses following the case, estimated at 400. million dollars (same in Swiss francs).
“Every word has a price …”
In a short reaction, Chinese public television CCTV hinted on Friday that the Texan leader had been pushed out.
“We learned of the resignation of Daryl Morey and have no comment to make about it,” said a spokesperson for the channel in a statement.
“However, we want to remind here that any word or act seeking to hurt the feelings of the Chinese has a price,” he stressed, before wishing “good luck” to Mr. Morey.