LeBron James is inserting himself into the Daryl Morey-China debte.
But after all is said and done, he may wish he hadn’t.
The Houston Rockets general manager recently sparked controversy in the NBA after tweeting out his support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong attempting to bolster its autonomy from mainland China. Morey’s tweet certainly rubbed China (a major NBA product consumer) the wrong way, causing a wave of backlash throughout the league.
And while Morey has his supporters (like Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter), James is not one of them.
While discussing the issue with reporters Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers star called Morey “misinformed” about the situation at hand.
“We all talk about this freedom of speech,” James said, per Washington Post’s Ben Golliver. “Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, and you’re only thinking about yourself.
“I don’t want to get into a word or a sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.”
When pressed about calling Morey misinformed, James dug himself into a deeper hole.
“That’s just my belief. I don’t know,” James said. “… I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation. And if he was, then so be it, but I have no idea. … And also sometimes social media is not the proper way to go about things as well.”
No sooner did he say that, James took to Twitter and doubled down on his previous comments.
“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen,” James tweeted. “Could have waited a week to send it.”
Check out his full comments:
Well, this is a mess.