The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show

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Oct 09, 2019


The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show
The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show thumb The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show thumb The NBA’s Full-Court Drama with China | The Daily Show thumb


  • The NBA.
  • 29 of the world's best basketball teams,
  • and, also, the Knicks.
  • (laughter, groaning)
  • The regular season hasn't even kicked off yet,
  • but there's already been a ton of drama.
  • Now, if you haven't been keeping up,
  • last week, the general manager of the Houston Rockets
  • posted a tweet in support
  • of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
  • And the NBA quickly put out a statement distancing themselves
  • from that tweet.
  • What was funny about this, though,
  • was that the English version of the statement was very different
  • from what it was being translated to
  • for the Chinese Internet.
  • So, like, in English, the statement was basically like,
  • "Hey, China, we're sorry you're offended."
  • But then, the Mandarin was like, "Rest assured, China,
  • we will feed this man to the wolves."
  • But then, here in America, people were pissed
  • that the NBA was kowtowing to China, right?
  • So yesterday, they went into damage control mode.
  • And things have only escalated from there.
  • There's new fallout this evening
  • in the NBA's firestorm with China.
  • MAN: The NBA tonight fighting back after being blasted
  • for caving to China's communist government.
  • Commissioner Adam Silver defending
  • Houston Rockets' GM Daryl Morey.
  • We are not apologizing
  • for Daryl exercising
  • his freedom of expression.
  • MAN 2: Shortly after Adam Silver voiced the league's support
  • for free speech, fresh backlash
  • from the communist regime in Beijing.
  • MAN 1: China's government tonight digging in,
  • cancelling a Brooklyn Nets event at a Shanghai school.
  • MAN 3: In the last few hours, China has started
  • pulling down Lakers and Nets signage.
  • MAN 2: At least two major Chinese retailers
  • have pulled Houston Rockets' merchandise
  • from their websites.
  • China state TV said it won't broadcast
  • or stream NBA pre-season games in China.
  • Oh, no!
  • Not the pre-season! No!
  • (laughter)
  • Nobody cares about the pre-season games.
  • Fans in America are like, "Can you ban them here, as well?
  • Can you, uh...?"
  • Yeah, the pre-season is just, like, the boring stuff
  • we're forced to sit through before the main event.
  • Like, China banning pre-season
  • is like Disney getting rid of its lines.
  • Just like, "I'm sorry, but you'll have
  • "to go straight to the rides from now on!
  • I wish it didn't come to this!"
  • "Oh, no."
  • Still, though, China is seriously pissed off
  • about the tweet, right?
  • And they're also pissed off about the response from the NBA.
  • And they aren't just taking pre-season games off the air.
  • They're also cancelling NBA events,
  • they're ripping down NBA signs everywhere.
  • In fact, like, everything NBA-related
  • is basically banned. Yeah.
  • No basketball, no LeBron. In fact, no jumping. Yeah.
  • You see a puddle, you just walk right through that shit.
  • (laughter)
  • And you can have donuts, but no Dunkin'.
  • And all office workers in China,
  • if you need to throw something in the trash,
  • none of this. No buzzer beaters.
  • You get out, and you just place it gently in the bin.
  • (laughter)
  • So China is basically going to war with the NBA,
  • all because of a single tweet.
  • And as surprising as that may seem to some people,
  • the truth is, this kind of thing has been happening
  • between China and American companies a lot.
  • The NBA not the only one feeling the heat, either.
  • U.S. jeweler Tiffany also under fire
  • after tweeting an image of a Chinese model covering one eye
  • with people believing it was done in solidarity
  • with those Hong Kong protests.
  • Nike, bowing to pressure from Beijing,
  • pulling a sneaker from the Chinese market.
  • MAN: Activision has suspended a professional video game player
  • and taken away his prize money.
  • Apple took the Taiwan emoji off its keyboard
  • if you are in Hong Kong or Macao.
  • MAN: Marriott apologized to the Chinese government.
  • WOMAN: Versace, Givenchy, and Coach issued apologizes.
  • MAN: Mercedes-Benz is offering an apology.
  • WOMAN: The Gap issued a sincere apology.
  • WOMAN 2: Delta saying,
  • "We apologize deeply for the mistake."
  • Damn. China gets offended by a lot of shit.
  • They're like that one guy at work
  • who takes everything personally.
  • You're just like, "Hey, man, I like your shoes."
  • Like, "Oh, wow. So you don't like looking at me feet?"
  • "Uh, no, I-I do like your feet”"
  • "Gross. You're a pervert."
  • Now here's the thing.
  • The truth is, these companies don't have
  • to take orders from China about what to say or how to act,
  • but they do it because nobody wants
  • to lose access to a billion Chinese customers.
  • It's a powerful incentive.
  • So powerful, in fact,
  • that China's influence is affecting
  • how Americans can act on American soil.
  • NEWSWOMAN: Tonight's game between the 76ers
  • and China's team, the Guangzhou Loong Lions,
  • went on as planned as an international firestorm
  • hangs over the Wells Fargo Center.
  • And on the sidelines, Sam Wachs and his wife
  • held "Free Hong Kong" and "Free HK" signs
  • that were confiscated by security in the first quarter.
  • Then, in the second quarter, both got kicked out of the game
  • when Wachs started yelling, "Free Hong Kong!"
  • As someone who used to live there,
  • he supports the movement.
  • That's right. Fans in Philadelphia
  • got kicked out of a basketball game last night
  • for chanting, "Free Hong Kong."
  • And I didn't realize that yelling shit
  • at a basketball game was against the rules.
  • I mean, that must have been so confusing
  • for all the other fans, you know?
  • 'Cause this guy is there like, "Free Hong Kong!"
  • And then the guy next to him was probably like,
  • "Hey, Ben Simmons, suck a Kardashian (bleep)!"
  • And then security's like, "You! Get out!
  • "No, not you. No, the 'Free Hong Kong' guy.
  • "You keep going. That stuff about the Kardashian (bleep),
  • that was hilarious. Carry on."
  • For more on the complicated relationship
  • between China and American businesses,
  • we turn to our senior NBA correspondent,
  • Ronny Chieng, everybody!
  • (cheering, applause)
  • Ronny...
  • this is a really, really contentious issue right now.
  • What are your thoughts on all of this?
  • Trevor, this whole thing is more disappointing
  • than every meal I've eaten at P.F. Chang's, okay?
  • That place is fake Chinese.
  • I'm so glad General Tso isn't around to see what they've done.
  • Quite frankly, I'm shocked at how these American companies
  • have behaved, okay?
  • It's complete bullshit, and they should be ashamed of themselves.
  • Wow. Ronny, you know, this-this takes guts.
  • Like, everyone else seems afraid to... to speak up about China,
  • but you taking a stand is very brave.
  • Well, someone has to say it.
  • In fact, I want to talk to China directly.
  • (clears throat)
  • -(laughter) -Wow!
  • Ronny, like, I don't understand what you're saying,
  • but I can feel your passion, man.
  • Tr-Trevor, please, I'm not finished.
  • Preach, brother, preach!
  • -Whoo! -(cheering, applause)
  • Wow!
  • Wow.
  • Ronny, that-that is amazing.
  • Did you... did you mention me?
  • 'Cause, like, I thought I heard my name.
  • Oh, oh, y-yeah, yeah, I said you're...
  • you're my hero and my friend.
  • (laughter)
  • I'm honored, Ronny.
  • You're my hero and my friend.
  • How-how do I say that in Chinese?
  • Oh, uh... (speaks Chinese)
  • Oh.
  • Close enough.
  • Ronny Chieng, everybody.

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China lashes out at the NBA after the Houston Rockets general manager tweets in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and Ronny Chieng addresses the Chinese government directly.

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