- Title: "I am here for Adam Silver" - Rockets' Harden
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF HOUSTON ROCKETS BASKETBALL PLAYER JAMES HARDEN TRAINING HARDEN ARRIVING FOR MEDIA BRIEFING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSTON ROCKETS PLAYER, JAMES HARDEN, SAYING: "We all have freedom of speech, that is the world we live in. Everyone should (say) how they feel and their thought process, be able to speak it. Obviously, some people are going to feel some type of ways, others are going to agree. That is just the world we live in. I am here for Adam Silver." VARIOUS OF ROCKETS HEAD COACH MIKE D'ANTONI SPEAKING TO OTHER COACHES (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSTON ROCKETS HEAD COACH, MIKE D'ANTONI, SAYING: "No, that is not my job (to speak to the players about being distracted). I worry about Xs and Os and they have people that deal with that." D'ANTONI SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSTON ROCKETS HEAD COACH, MIKE D'ANTONI, SAYING: "We are talking basketball. We are not there. We are talking basketball and I will answer whatever... I understand your job but that is not me. We are good." VARIOUS OF ROCKETS' BEN MCLEMORE TRAINING
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 07:32
- Keywords: NBA China Hong Kong protests Houston Rockets James Harden Adam Silver Mike D'Antoni basketball
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Basketball,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DIJIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Houston Rockets' guard James Harden threw his support behind beleaguered NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Wednesday (October 9), after an escalation of the row over comments by a team official in support of protests in Hong Kong.
The tweet sent over the weekend by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has angered fans and authorities in China, threatening a business said to be worth more than $4 billion in a country where about 500 million fans consume NBA content.
Morey deleted the tweet backing the Hong Kong protests and apologised on Monday (October 7), but Chinese broadcasters have cancelled airing of the pre-season game and sportswear companies and sponsors have said they are reviewing their ties with the NBA, which has had a presence in China since 1992.
Harden, the key player for Morey's Rockets who won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2018, told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday that he supports the commissioner and his defence of free speech. "I am here for Adam Silver," said Harden.
Silver, speaking on Tuesday (October 8) in Japan before a preseason game between the Rockets and Toronto Raptors, said it was not up to the league to regulate what players, employees and team owners said.
(Production: Jack Tarrant)
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