Chinese fans miffed at NBA, but not enough to skip game

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published 1 week ago - Duration: 03:16s

Chinese fans miffed at NBA, but not enough to skip game

Chinese fans in Shenzhen miffed at NBA, but not enough to miss exhibition game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets

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Chinese fans miffed at NBA, but not enough to skip game

SHOWS: SHENZHEN, GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (OCTOBER 12, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING BANNER READING "NBA GET OUT OF CHINA" BEING TAKEN FROM THEM BY POLICE 2.

DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING POSTER READING (English) : "MOREY MUST APOLOGIZE TO CHINA.

ONE CHINA, NO VIOLENCE" 3.

DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING BANNERS AND POSTERS OUTSIDE STADIUM AS POLICE STANDING 4.

DEMONSTRATOR HOLDING BANNER READING (English) : "ONE CHINA, TWO SYSTEMS" 5.

DEMONSTRATORS STANDING AS POLICE ASKING REPORTERS TO LEAVE 6.

FANS ARRIVING AT STADIUM 7.

POLICE VAN OUTSIDE STADIUM 8 (SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) 25-YEAR-OLD NBA FAN, MR. NING, SAYING: "I was an NBA fan but because of Morey's tweet, now I think it doesn't matter whether we watch the game or not.

We Chinese can't be bullied, there is only one China." 9.

FANS CHEERING AS NBA PLAYERS TRAIN 10.

SCREEN SHOWING TRAINING IN PROGRESS 11.

FANS SITTING AND WATCHING 12.

VARIOUS OF LOS ANGELES LAKERS STAR ANTHONY DAVIS PRACTISING ON COURT 13.

VARIOUS OF LAKERS SUPERSTAR LEBRON JAMES TRAINING ON COURT 14.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 30-YEAR-OLD, NBA FAN, MR. LI, SAYING: "My mood today is still very exciting, I mainly came to see stars from the Lakers including James, Anthony and Howard.

For this NBA tweet incident, of course, we will have some psychological conflicts, but our love for the NBA team is still in our hearts, we still advocate sportsmanship.

There is no conflict between my patriotic sentiment and sportsmanship." 15.

VARIOUS OF SECURITY PERSONNEL WALKING OUTSIDE STADIUM STORY: Thousands of Chinese basketball fans cheered on the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets at an NBA exhibition game in the city of Shenzhen on Saturday (October 12) night - but some warned the organisation to stay out of politics.

Daryl Morey, general manager of another team, the Houston Rockets, voiced support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in a tweet last week, prompting Chinese sponsors and partners to cut ties with the NBA.

China is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion for the NBA, so the stakes are high.

Outside the arena on Saturday, some protesters waved Chinese flags and others held admonitory red signs.

One man with a sign in Chinese saying "NBA get out of China" had it ripped up by police.

China has accused the West of stirring up anti-Beijing sentiment in Hong Kong, where large and at times violent anti-government protesters have gained momentum over the past four months.

State media characterised Morey's tweet - which read "Fight for Freedom.

Stand with Hong Kong" - as meddling in China's affairs.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended the principle of free speech on Tuesday, further angering Beijing.

(Production: Joyce Zhou)

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