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Despite taking strong political stances in America, the NBA remains ambivalent toward the enslavement of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, which lives on as a PR sore spot for the Association.
Poking fun at the NBA’s interests in doing business with China is former center Andrew Bogut, who tweeted at Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant to provide advice during KD’s ongoing battle for a trade out of New York.
Bogut provided an unorthodox solution to Durant’s problem, and it involved Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Tsai is also co-founder of Alibaba, a Chinese multinational technology company that gives him deep connections in the contested NBA audience in China. He has long been identified as an ardent supporter of the CCP, which Bogut used to devise the perfect escape plan for KD.
Bogut called out Tsai in his tweet:
“An easy way for KD to get out of @joetsai1999’s @BrooklynNets that no NBA analyst is discussing. A simple tweet: ‘Free Hong Kong, Free Taiwan.’ Gone the next day …”
Tsai’s critics have called out the owner for pushing back against anti-CCP activism, including an incident where former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was booted from a previously arranged lodging reservation in New York. Morey caught flak for tweeting “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” which reportedly bothered Tsai and led to the canceled room.
REPORT: NETS CANCELED SUITE FOR DARYL MOREY AFTER CRITICIZING CHINA, HIGHLIGHTING OWNER JOE TSAI’S COMMITMENT TO CCP
The Nets owner has also been a target of free-agent center Enes Kanter Freedom’s pro-Taiwan, pro-democracy platform.
China’s audience reportedly generates around $400 million in annual revenue for the NBA, and owners reportedly hold $10 billion in investments with companies based in China.