NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues new statement on China: ‘Sports can be a unifying force’

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What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt was on hand as Kyrie Irving addressed the media for the first time as a Brooklyn Net and relays the major talking points, which included new teammate Kevin Durant.

The tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong protesters has caused the NBA to enter damage control, with China being one of its largest markets and the Rockets being a favorite team in the country. 

That led to an initial statement from the league that appeared to have a different meaning when translated to Mandarin, although a league spokesman said the English version was the NBA’s official stance. Early Tuesday, commissioner Adam Silver once again attempted to clarify the league’s position. 

“We recognize that our two countries have different political systems and beliefs,” Silver said in another statement. “And like many global brands, we bring our business to places with different political systems around the world. But for those who question our motivation, this is about far more than growing our business.” 

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Silver went on to say that diversity is one of the league’s strengths and that he believes sports can make a positive impact in the world. However, he stopped short of saying basketball is capable of solving the world’s issues. 

“It is inevitable that people around the world — including from NBA and China — will have dif

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