The NBA Should Apologize To Hong Kong If They Want To Recover Their Ratings, Down 21% From Christmas Day Last Year

It’s well documented that the NBA ratings are in a freefall, but how did they recover with a Christmas Day launch? According to the numbers, commissioner Adam Silver’s commitment to China and BLM was a mistake that’ll linger for years. If the NBA wants to recover their ratings, then they need to apologize to the people of Hong Kong and Daryl Morey.

Outkick’s Clay Travis jumped off the top rope after the league released their shoddy ratings.

When the NBA decided that appeasing Chinese leaders to protect TV deals and jersey sales was more important than standing up for human rights, they didn’t consider the long-term damage when they returned home. Now, Adam Silver is making adjustments, like moving the NBA’s launch to Christmas Day, which now we know didn’t help. Silver will play dumb or make excuses and say young people are “pulling the plug on cable,” but reality is that the NBA showed they care more about money than human rights. A mistake that can’t be fixed without an apology.

You’d think Adam Silver and LeBron James were Nelson Mandela and Susan B. Anthony if you paid attention to their interviews. “More Than An Athlete” t-shirts, BLM stitched on jumpsuits, and opening schools? These guys must be top-notch leaders that our youth can get behind, right?


Both LeBron James and Adam Silver sat on their hands after then Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey took a stand for humans over dollars. Morey knew, just like Silver and King James, that standing up for the people of Hong Kong would fray the league’s relationship and make it nearly impossible to become international business partners. He didn’t care, because that’s what real leaders do.

The NBA now sees the results of putting money over freedom and there’s nothing they can change about their sport to appease us other than walking back their stance on China.

What needs to be done

If Adam Silver wants former fans of the NBA to embrace the game again, apologize to Daryl Morey and the people of Hong Kong. Show you actually care about human beings. I shouldn’t have to ask, but here I am laying the framework today. If not, the spiral will continue and no change in the NBA’s scheduling can save them.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. At this point, they’ve fluffed the pillows and snuggled up under that woke/BLM/More Than An Athlete comforter. Hell, I’d say they’ve out-ESPN’ed ESPN in turning off viewers to the product and an apology no matter heartfelt won’t be bringing back those viewers any time soon. Ah well.

      • I think you make a great point, but the NBA and the personalities involved are much too stubborn and tone deaf to apologize. They’ll just keep denying the obvious truth, the NBA continues to lose relevance every month. My theory is that this all began when college NCAA basketball no longer could keep good players for 3 or 4 years. To the average fan, almost everyone drafted by the NBA last few years no one has heard of. I can barely name any NBA players beyond the top 10 stars.

  2. The China stuff isn’t the reason nobody’s watching. It’s their dipshit “superstar” Lebron the liar and race-baiter that everyone got sick of. I doubt the ratings recover until he’s retired and these brats make some major changes.

  3. Thanks for the update. What needs to be done, however, won`t be done. The Association is too far down the road with the Chi-comm`s on this. They also won`t walk back any BLM or social justice BS. The bottom of this thing hasn`t been reached yet……..

  4. I think China and Hong Kong are only moderately of impact to their issues. Instead of an apology on that, how about coming to the realization that BLM is a Marxist organization who has capitalized on the causes of drug addicts, criminals and abusers and denounce it rather than embrace it? Thinking people know these things and are turning away as a result. Maybe the NBA could start their own movement to address the real problems of black on black crime, the murder of black men in Chicago and other large cities and the devastation of the nuclear family in the black culture leading to the issues that JW so eloquently and rightly chronicles on a regular basis. You know, leadership instead of virtue signaling?

    • Gary,
      Read this. Black men have devastated young (and one day older) black men and also not to leave out young and one day older black women. Its heartbreaking. Where do you go when you have a bunch of babies. The pool hall. As an older white male I’m beyond sad on this. Where are the black dads? This whole BLM is a coverup for black dads. And dads is a compliment to the negligent behavior of men of color who produce but don’t provide.

  5. Gary, I agree with you in that I think an apology actually would do some good but it will never happen. When those two police officers were ambushed and shot while sitting in their cars in Los Angeles he had a little pressure put on him to at least condemn the shooting and he chose to go with “no comment” when asked by reporter. That, to me, spoke volumes. To Mookie Betts credit he did come out and say something in support of the officers. It was a simple thing and at the very least it shows you’re in support of what’s right. Lebron and the NBA as a whole have turned this lifetime fan off, maybe for good.

  6. Gary, no issues with the point you’re making, but there will be no apologies. The NBA, Silver, and Lebron dug a hole, hit concrete and continue to dig. There’s too much ego for an apology and too much greed to chance pissing off China.

  7. Unfortunately they lack the courage to walk away from the money. And it’s not just them, it is all of the corporations that look the other way over human rights violations, working conditions, actual slavery, exploitation, racism, and all the holier than thou things they espouse here but are deathly silent about their communist overlords.

  8. Gary – words by themselves are cheap! NBA needs not only apologize BUT also layout a list of actions and follow up on them on an on-going basis. Otherwise, they are just lip service and NBA will not get the fans back.

      • Oh no! It’s much worse than just words. What about the kneelings, $millions donated to BLM, kissing China Communist govt’s butts, messages on jerseys, etc. You’re right that the 1st step is to apologize, but that is a very small step in a long list of actions they have to take. Did you hear Commish Silver say the other day that he thinks NBA gains MORE fans with their social justice/BLM message, but then pulled the BLM messages off the court and jerseys. What a weasel and coward.

  9. At this point we have become used to watching less sports, and I kind of like it. They will not see full impact until people can come back to their games and the arenas in most cities are 25-35% empty, and the networks insist on rolling back TV revenue. They then can remember the difference between Jordan and James. One drove viewers up, and the other down.

  10. Money is king, not only to the NBA but to our political establishment. Why else would it be so difficult to get Congress to establish guidelines for big tech. Big tech spends a lot of money on politicians from both parties and they (politicians) are not going to give that up. The NBA figures it will weather the “storm” and eventually fans will forget and come back.

  11. Apologizing to Hong Kong and Darryl Morey would have NO effect on me – it would not get me to watch one minute of an NBA game.
    The NBA needs to apologize to America for backing BLM across their courts, and all the SJW crap on their jerseys. Say something positive about America. That’s the starting point for me. Until then, I won’t care about the NBA in any way. Done with anything and anyone associated with the league.

  12. I think that, combined with the NBA’s embracing of the BLM terrorists, the submission to the Chinese Communists will cause the NBA to permanently lose fans. I don’t see the NBA reversing course; they need the Chinese market to grow in order to compensate for their revenue loss from white fans.

  13. I think as long as Chicom commie money keeps propping up the rotting corpse of the NBA…we won’t hear any apologizes.

    My curiosity is just what is going to happen to LeBron after his basketball skills finally diminish. His backup plans are also collapsing at a rapid rate (i.e. fake hate crimes, his fraud of a school which he put little money into, Hollyweird and the whole LA fantasy).

  14. Interesting, but that’s just not enough. They went full on hacktivist with the BLM stuff and it won’t be soon forgotten. On top of the Hong Kong stuff, just trying to make major business with China in this day and age puts them in the wrong as well and turns people off. Add on that people are sick of super teams and Lebron James, and the nba is going to need a whole lot more than just an apology to Hong Kong to ever recover.

  15. Gary, while I appreciate your journalistic skill, the NBA articles are tiresome. We get it you love the NBA. To start the NBA is boring. There are no real rivalries. The leader of the league (LeBron James) wants be everyone’s best friend. Hey Magic Johnson played with a smile on his face but he wanted to rip out Isiah and Larry’s throats. The game is geared toward scoring 130 points because fans want to see offense. No physicality is permitted. Breathe on the wrong player and its a foul. The game is just a series of clear the floor one on one plays for 18 seconds then the guy with the ball shoots, drives and kicks, or drives and shoots. Wow such nuance. Finally, if the game play wasn’t poor and its like watching a Sunday pick up league where everyone is best buddies the NBA went all woke and communist on its few remaining fans. Sure that appeals to the hardcore woke Gen Z fan, but are those folks even into sports?

    • I agree. As much as I hate all the social justice nonsense forced down our throats, at the end of the day, I left the NBA years ago due to poor quality of play. Regular season games became unwatchable. Free throw shooting has gotten better, but when most “stars” couldn’t consistently hit a free throw, I bailed. I want to see awesome athleticism, not someone who has a lower free throw percentage than what I shot in high school.

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