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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Report: Kyle Kuzma, other players had sponsorship deals pulled while in China

Kyle Kuzma

The financial ramifications of the situation between China and the NBA have yet to be fully realized, but some players who were overseas for exhibition games last week experienced direct consequences in the wake of Daryl Morey’s controversial tweets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic has shared numerous behind-the-scenes details from the ongoings in China over the past week or so, and he was told by sources that several Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets players — one of which was Kyle Kuzma — lost money when sponsorship appearances were canceled. The same was true for at least two Houston Rockets players.

The Lakers and Nets ended up playing in Shanghai despite plenty of uncertainty and uneasiness surrounding their exhibition games. The Chinese government canceled all media appearances and went to great lengths to remove sponsorship logos from the arena where the games were held, and some believe they chose not to cancel the games to show the NBA what an event would look like without endorsements and sponsorship money.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has his work cut out for him in what has become an incredibly complicated situation, but Charania reports that front office and ownership sources feel Silver has been able to stabilize the situation overall. However, the belief around the league is that there could be “irreparable losses for the Rockets in the indefinite future.”

All of this started with Morey tweeting his support of the pro-democracy protests that have been going on in China. Fans both in China and the United States have been upset over the way the NBA has handled the situation, and some fans were even ejected from a game in Philadelphia last week over an issue related to the topic.

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