Adam Silver says China asked NBA to fire Rockets’ Daryl Morey

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that China asked the league to fire Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. Morey’s tweet earlier this month supporting protesters in Hong Kong caused a furor in China, and Silver said the NBA has already suffered “substantial” financial losses in that country.

Speaking in New York at an event organized by Time magazine, Silver emphasized what he described as his league’s commitment to free speech, even at the potential cost of an ever-growing foothold in the lucrative Chinese market.

“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening.