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NBA Returns To China With Game 5

Chinese Basketball fans were finally able to catch the games again, after an international uproar caused the NBA to be pulled from the air in China. CCTV-5 announced that it was airing Friday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat thanks to “goodwill” by the league.

The extent of China’s issues with the NBA goes back to last fall when the Lakers were scheduled to play two offseason games in China. Houston general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong antigovernmental protests. The tweet read “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” This one tweet was able to strain China’s entire relationship with the NBA. Big streaming partners with the NBA agreed to not play Houston Rockets games and several brands that represent the NBA in China have come forth disapproving the comments of Daryl Morey. Despite Morey apologizing and recanting his statements, the damage had already been done. NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the soured relationship with China cost the league over $300 million in losses from Chinese companies pulling support.

Now after a year, the games are back in China. China cites the goodwill of the organization as one of the reasons for its return. CCTV says: “During the recent Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the NBA sent their well wishes to fans in China, We also took note of the league has been continuously delivering goodwill, particularly making positive contributions to Chinese people’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.”

Representatives of the NBA have been hard at work, trying to repair the relationship between the NBA and China. To fulfill the demand for more games, from Basketball deprived fans in China.

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