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As tensions with NBA persist, China mandates no news conferences for Lakers-Nets game

Mercedes-Benz Arena ahead of Thursday’s exhibition game between the Brooklyn Nets and Lakers in Shanghai.
Mercedes-Benz Arena ahead of Thursday’s exhibition game between the Brooklyn Nets and Lakers in Shanghai.
(Getty Images)

Thursday’s exhibition game between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets did not get canceled, but one element of it did.

The Chinese government mandated that neither members of the teams nor NBA Commissioner Adam Silver conduct news conferences in conjunction with the game.

The game will not be broadcast anywhere in China, but there is a world feed through which they can be seen elsewhere. Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles and YES Network in New York will air the game live.

The teams have two games scheduled in China — one Thursday in Shanghai and one on Saturday in Shenzhen.

The prospect of the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets actually playing an basketball game in China looks questionable amid the turmoil between the country and the NBA.
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Tensions between the NBA and China began when Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a message on Twitter in support of protesters in Hong Kong.

Protesters began demonstrating in June against an extradition bill that would have allowed deportation of suspected criminals to China. That bill was withdrawn, but the protests evolved into a movement demanding greater police and government accountability and electoral reform so voters can choose their own representatives.

The Chinese government canceled two NBA Cares events earlier in the week that were slated to include media access. The league had scheduled a media day that would have included interviews with all players and coaches for both teams, but it was later canceled.


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