Daryl Morey’s recent comments about political issues in Hong Kong are not sitting well. The comments have not only impacted the NBA preseason schedule but now may have an effect on individual NBA players. Today, the Chinese sneaker brand Anta cut ties with the NBA. As a result of Anta’s move, it would not be a surprise if others followed suit.
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Current NBA talent represented by the popular Asian shoe manufacturer includes three-time champion Klay Thompson and Golden State Warriors teammate Kevon Looney, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and the Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo. One of the biggest names to be signed by Anta was former NBA Champion, Kevin Garnett. Garnett was a mult-time All-Star and is a Hall of Famer. However, it is unknown at this time how contract situations with current NBA players will play out with Anta.
Since 2014, Anta has been the official merchandising and marketing partner of the NBA in China. Li Ning and Peak have yet to announce their status in relation to the current situation.
Notable players such as CJ McCollum, Lou Williams, Evan Turner, and even the recently retired Dwyane Wade are all under contracts with the popular Asian shoe companies. It would not come as much of a surprise if others follow Anta’s lead.
The NBA recently had a series of preseason games taking place in various cities throughout China and Japan involving the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Brooklyn Nets. No games have currently been canceled but the media presence is less than usual. Commissioner Adam Silver has ruled that players and coaches will not give pre or post-game press conferences.
With the much anticipated 2019 draft class and a whirlwind summer of trades and free-agent signings, the 2019-20 NBA season is one of the most anticipated in recent years. It is unfortunate that one man’s political opinion has tarnished the shine of the 2019-20 season. One in which is sure to be one of the most competitive seasons in recent memory.
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