NBA nixes media availability for final game in China
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will play Saturday's final exhibition game in China on Saturday, but the NBA will not make players or coaches available to the media amid tensions over protests in Hong Kong.
The teams played Thursday in Shanghai with the same stipulation, as requested
by the Chinese government.
In a statement released Friday, the league said it made the decision to extend
the policy for the sake of the teams.
"We have decided not to hold media availability for our teams for the
remainder of our trip in China," the statement reads. "They have been placed
into a complicated and unprecedented situation while abroad and we believe it
would be unfair to ask them to address these matters in real time."
Saturday's game will be played in Shenzhen, less than 30 kilometers from Hong
On Wednesday, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said on "The Dan Patrick
Show" that the final two games could be canceled. Dave McMenamin reported on
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that the games are in doubt over safety concerns.
The network's Rachel Nichols reported the NBA doesn't want to cancel games,
but said all NBA and player signage -- massive images of LeBron James, Anthony
Davis and a 20-foot NBA logo on the arena -- was removed Wednesday by a single
worker operating a crane.
State television broadcaster CCTV announced Tuesday that neither NBA game in
the country would be televised. All 11 wholly owned Chinese companies with
official partnerships with the NBA have severed ties with the NBA, CNN
reported Wednesday afternoon.
--Field Level Media