"On Monday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver waded into the fray. He reportedly spoke to Kyodo News, a local news outlet in Japan, and expressed his support for Morey "in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression."
In a statement the next day, Silver said the NBA could not regulate what "players, employees and team owners" say, and that the league was motivated by "far more than growing our business."
"It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues," he said in the statement. "It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.""
China responded by arguing that statements regarding national sovereignty should not be considered as being within the scope of free speech, because if anyone knows what the scope of free speech is its communist China.