If you’ve been following the NBA over the past couple of weeks, then you know there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the league’s business with China. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey sent a tweet supporting the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and China immediately took notice and nixed their relationship with the team. Since the incident, the league has completely folded under pressure and is giving in to the financial benefits that a relationship with China allows them.
LeBron James came out in support of the league yesterday and even gave a motherly lecture to Morey. Considering LeBron is always at the forefront of social issues, it was surprising to hear him side with an oppressive regime. Since his comments, LeBron has been facing a ton of scrutiny and deservedly so. Today on ESPN’s First Take, Max Kellerman was highly critical of LeBron and even implied that he’s a “sell out.”
As Kellerman explains, taking a stand can be easy when there isn’t any money on the line, which is what LeBron typically does. Now that billions of dollars are at stake, James seems to be shying away from having an opinion for seemingly the first time in his professional career. Kellerman is clearly disappointed by this and expects better of the “King.”
With all this backlash in mind, it will be interesting to see if LeBron changes his mind on taking a stand.