LeBron James Is Getting Roasted for Criticizing Daryl Morey's Hong Kong Tweet

James called Trump a "bum," but he won't utter a single bad word about China's authoritarianism.


The Los Angeles Lakers' small forward LeBron James spoke to reporters yesterday about the early October tweet that has destabilized the NBA's business deals in China. His remarks have infuriated hoops fans and free-speech lovers alike. 

On October 4, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted an image supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Despite quickly deleting the tweet, mainland China's communist government and its media subsidiaries condemned Morey for tweeting in support of Hong Kong and the NBA for half-defending Morey's right to speak his mind. 

Chinese media company Tencent, which is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government and is paying more than a billion dollars to broadcast NBA games, responded with a punitive blackout spree: The company initially pledged to not broadcast Rockets games this season, then it refused to broadcast a preseason basketball game the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets played in China. Deadspin now reports that Tencent may no longer carry a show featuring ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, an NBA journalist who is more famous than most players thanks to his ability to break trade news. What does "Woj" have to do with all this? He hit the heart icon on Morey's Hong Kong tweet. 

When reporters finally got LeBron on camera and asked him about Morey's tweet before Monday's preseason home game against the Golden State Warriors, King James threw Morey under the bus:

"We all talk about this freedom of speech—yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative, that can happen, um, when you're not thinking about others, or you're only thinking about yourself. So, I don't believe—I don't want to get into a word or a sentence feud with Daryl, 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. So just be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too."

James then followed up with two tweets: 

That bit on "thinking about others" is pretty rich. I wonder if James has talked to service sector workers in Asheville, North Carolina, about how hard it was for them to pay their bills during the NBA-led boycott over the state's terrible transgender bathroom bill. (Spoiler alert: tourism travel to the state tanked, and it was, in fact, very hard for them to pay their bills.) Or, he could ask Enes Kanter, the Turkish basketball player who's wanted by his home country for speaking out against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, about the harms of speech: 

If James wants to say courageous things only when it's cheap and easy, that's his right. When asked about Morey on Monday night, he could've simply echoed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who issued a statement on October 8 declaring that "the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues." 

Or he could've followed the lead of Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr and played dumb

Or he could've done what Slate's Tom Scocca suggests and simply said, "It's a free country." That's it! You can literally answer every question about Morey and Hong Kong by saying, "America is a free country." Then you can tell people to ask you more questions about the Lakers' plan to win it all with two generational talents and 13 has-beens. 

LeBron James called President Trump a "bum," so you know he believes in free speech for himself. And based on what he said about Martin Luther King Jr. in 2018, I suspect he believes in it for other people, too. Those values are now running into the economic realities of doing business in a country where free speech is prohibited.

China is essentially paying him to stay in his lane. If LeBron wants to make that tradeoff, that's his business. He's even allowed to say other people should stay in their lane for his benefit. But America is a free country, which means the rest of us can roast him for it. 

NEXT: Trump Changes His Mind About Turkey and Hopes Steel Tariffs Will Stop the Slaughter

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  1. The Chinese government is as bad as the Nazis were, but as long as they’re making lots of money for Americans, it’s all good.

    1. The Nazi’s made a lot of money for America and Americans prior to and early in WW II as well, which is part of why it took so long for us to join the efforts against them.

      1. And we still wouldn’t have joined the war in Europe even after Pearl Harbor (we only declared war on Japan at that time) except Germany and Italy declared war on us a few days later, so we reciprocated

        1. It was probably foregone that we would end up joining the war against them anyway, since FDR was pretty keen on the idea even before Pearl Harbor, and afterwards he could’ve gotten support for pretty much anything he felt like (and did!).

          However, if I were the heads of state of the Axis powers at the time, I’d’ve probably at least forced the US to declare war on us initially – there was already considerable isolationist sentiment stateside prior to this, and it’s possible that FDR might’ve had trouble persuading Congress to declare war on some other countries quite far away from the one we were already at war with, during a time we were already at war. Not that I think this alternative is likely, but it wouldn’t’ve cost them anything to try.

          I’m kind of curious what that history could’ve looked like, maybe Harry Turtledove will oblige me when he finishes with the ancient aliens crown from the History channel.

        2. Another one of Hitler’s blunders. First the American convoys to Britain and attacks on his u-boats convinced him that the US would enter eventually anyway.

          The u-boat strategy was another matter. At first they did well however the allies developed effective counter measures and the whole thing was another failure.

          Then he overestimated Japan and underestimated American ability to mass produce and gear up for war. He did not predict that the pivot would be to Europe first with a holding strategy in the East.

    2. Too bad to see NBA used as a pawn, but Hong Kong is a staged media event to embarrass China. US State Dept, George Soros, Deep State finance students who are so ignorant of China’s history that they want to invite British colonials back into Hong Kong? wth
      I understand LeBron completely because his black brothers are part of world record incarceration rates and of course disproportionately biased according to race. Daryl, look no further than NSA’s own USA for MSM fake (oligarch owned) freedom of speech, militarized shooting of unarmed civilians and children and repression bordering on totalitarianism. Chinese police don’t shoot their civilians in any number that compares to US civilian dead. Black lives and all lives matter. Forgive Daryl his being duped by MSM like most Americans, but wake up people. If Russia and China paid thugs to riot and organize riots in Washington DC, do you really think there would be no civilian casualties? Is NBA now part of Trump’s trade wars against China? This is the more cogent question!

      1. ——- 1,000

      2. Sikhotealinz
        October.16.2019 at 12:24 am
        “Too bad to see NBA used as a pawn, but Hong Kong is a staged media event to embarrass China. US State Dept, George Soros, Deep State finance students who are so ignorant of China’s history that they want to invite British colonials back into Hong Kong?”

        Are you stupid, or paid to post bullshit like that?

  2. This whole fiasco makes me so happy.
    It’s very entertaining.
    Thanks, Daryl!

  3. Larry Bird was a better player. The greatest small forward of all time. And trash talker.

    1. That is absurd by any objective measure.

      1. Bird was the greatest shooting forward of all time, and as good a passer as anyone. But not as good as Lebron or some others in rebounding, playmaking, driving to the hoop, etc. Great, not the greatest.

        1. LeBron just might be the best all-around player ever because of his amazing defense…Bird, Magic, Dr. J, Oscar Robertson played no defense & just played the passing lanes looking for steals!….Jordan played pretty good defense, but not nearly as good as LeBron & LeBron is a much better passer & 3-pt shooter than Jordan was!

          But I will say this: If my life depended on it in a close game with 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter I’d rather have Jordan on my team than LeBron! Sometimes LeBron does not want to take charge in those situations, Jordan thrived in them!

      2. Lol, no. If Bird played in the current era where people get fouled for even breathing on a shooter wrong, and traveling is all but ignored, he’d have hung 40 points a game on these clowns. LeBron has also benefitted from playing most of his career in a weak-ass Eastern Conference in the post-expansion era. During Bird’s prime, the Celtics had the Bad Boys, Dominique Wilkins and the Hawks, and the 76ers to contend with, not mention the Showtime Lakers, and still got 60 wins a year.

        The one thing I’ll give LeBron is winning that championship in Cleveland with a bunch of scrub teammates.

  4. “He wasn’t educated on the situation.”

    LeBron confirmed for commie stooge.

  5. Maybe we should start calling him “chairman James“ instead of “king James.“ Or at least credit him with starting a cultural revolution among professional athletes.

    I wonder if he’d get these references…

    1. Yes, yes, and no

    2. “Peking James” A new nickname is born.

      1. Good lord, that is good. Reason comments denizens, fight the good fight and spread this around.

        1. To the meme mobile (device)!

  6. so many slave jokes to be made … not by me but they’re there.

    1. People are already on it:

      LeBron James Says Rosa Parks’s Bus Protest ‘Could Have Waited A Week’

      James, an expert in geopolitical relations as well as the game of basketball, went on to explain that people in power stand to lose a lot of money when protesters challenge the status quo. “Civil rights demonstrations should really be limited to times that are convenient to everyone,” James told sources. “When Rosa Parks started the bus boycott by refusing to give up her seat, I guess there were some sporting events scheduled that week in downtown Montgomery that lost a lot of revenue. It wasn’t fair to them. I can’t really blame Ms. Parks though. She was just misinformed.”

      1. You know that guy who stood up to the tank in Tiananmen Square? He must have really been misinformed.

  7. If James wants to say courageous things only when it’s cheap and easy, that’s his right.

    Businesses like the NBA do, in fact, have an obligation to do what’s best for the business. That said, they’ve clearly not had a problem with employees’ desires to (vocally, at least) confront domestic issues at the risk of turning off a substantial customer base.

    The answer King James and others who want to speak but not piss off investors or financial partners should be giving is a very milquetoast: “I appreciate all of our Chinese fans and am wishing for the best for them and for Hong Kong.”

    1. They’re aware that literally nobody in the press will call them on this.

      “Trump is bad. He is mean to Muslims”
      “Lebron, China has millions in concentration camps and forces Muslim shops to sell pork and all.”
      “China is AWESOME!!!”

      1. I dunno. The sports media I listen to have been pretty critical of the NBA and James about this.

  8. To paraphrase Clay Travis, Lebron has never been terribly bright on politics and has definitely not said anything that could even POTENTIALLY cost him money in his life…so this is not really a surprise. He is not Muhammad Ali.

    “I don’t want to get into a word or a sentence feud with Daryl, with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.”

    Lebron graduated from a high school.
    Morey graduated from Northwestern and MIT.

    I’m not normally one to play credentials — but come the fuck on.

    Now, LBJ, tell me more about how Trump is bad…but please don’t stop fluffing Xi to do so.

    1. Lebron graduated from a high school.
      Morey graduated from Northwestern and MIT.

      That makes me think Lebron is the bright one.

    2. I wonder would happen if LeBron James was paid 10,000 dollars for every day some guy spent in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Where would SJW LBJ be? Silent of course. Can’t let justice interfere with money.

  9. a country where free speech is prohibited

    But their constitution says everyone has the right to free speech.

    1. You have the right to free speech
      As long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it

      Know Your Rights

    2. Our constitution says your right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      So what’s your point?

  10. This isn’t an NBA problem, it’s a corporate culture problem. And recent events have merely laid bare the utter hypocrisy of the people working in and running these corporations.

    (looking at you, Blizzard and Activision)

    1. If it weren’t for foreign fans, they’d have no fans at all. Gloom, despair and agony…

      Do any Americans still watch those goons? I haven’t seen an NBA game since the 90s. It’s college ball or nothing.

  11. The woke seem to have a simple logic:

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    My enemy is free America.

    Therefore, any enemy of free America is my friend.

    Evidence: LeBron James, Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich.

  12. Black lives matter. Hong Kong lives don’t. Lebron and every other black athlete in the country don’t give a shit about human rights. Rights are what’s good for a brother.

    1. Yes, the inherent racism of the NBA klan is on display bigtime.

      LeBron bitches about people losing money – because it is him and all those multi-millionaire players. He never gave a shit about the people hurt by the NC boycott or other shit they pulled.

  13. But LeBron walks with books…Clearly he has an extremely high intellect.

  14. In order to dish the rock you do not have to be smarter than the rock.

  15. I’d like to think that Michael Jordan getting cut in high school gave him some humility, so that he knew that no one cared about what his political opinions were. Lebron and the current crop could use a little of that because it might save them from looking foolish about these matters.

    1. I’d pay $1 to hear Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s $0.02 on the issue.

      1. Kinda doubt it.

        His leftism is stronger than his Islam.

        1. Yeah, but at least Kareem can explain his reasoning on an articulate way.

          LeBron and his entourage are the epitome of ghetto lottery winners, who were lucky enough to have the mass media complex crawl up their ass and celebrate everything they do as if they’re trailblazers.

        2. His leftism is stronger than his Islam.

          His limp-wristed defense of Donald Sterling, while leftist and limp-wristed was still better than 99% of the other hot takes from players or journolists on the matter.

          1. Which is why I think it would be interesting. He would likely at least acknowledge that China sucks.

  16. I think Lebron is exactly right here. He tweeted:
    “I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.”

    For all the preening and everything, it is clear that Lebron is the only one telling the truth here. Lebron understands that in America, you can tweet whatever the fuck you want without consequences, but in China you cannot. Indeed in the US, tweeting asshole things about political “others” probably earns you publicity and fans. And so LeBron was actually telling the truth that Morey was not educated on the matter- Morey should have known that you cannot criticize the Chinese or even show support for their targets without hurting yourself financially.

    1. True, you can do things that hurt people. But failure to stand up for our core principles is cowardice. LeCoward.

  17. Is this coming out of the same part of his brain that told him it would be great for his image to make an ESPN hype show out of stabbing Cleveland in the back when he signed with Miami?

    Cause that part of his brain is not doing him any favors

    1. Other than his motor cortex I’m not sure any part of his brain is making positive contributions.

  18. China harvested Lebron’s balls.

    1. Tiny harvest at that.

  19. Steve Kerr has suddenly found his entire being is focused on hoops, not his lefty politics.
    Being called on your bullshit will do that.

    1. Go look at his Twitter account. He’s learned nothing.

      These guys hate Trump blindly and let that drive their faux-principles.

  20. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who issued a statement on October 8 declaring that “the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.”

    Nope, that’s clearly Chinese censors’ jobs.

  21. Also, can’t wait for the South Park take on this.

  22. If Lebron wants to see racism he should pay closer attention to China.

    “but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand”

    And I’m sure you are. I studied Chinese and Russian history in University and think the NBA is full of shit cowards. Am I uneducated? Morey himself went to Northwestern/MIT. Good move. Awesome.

    And I fully expect them to double down because that’s what the insufferable do. Heck, I’m waiting for them to spin this blaming ‘alt-right extremist trolls in Trump’s America’ with a racist hoax sprinkled into that sophistry.

    Last thing, Mr. King of the Wokes. Spare a REAL moment of empathy and love for the dissidents, prisoners, people killed, organizations fighting for human rights, gay groups and all the others who live in absolute peace and freedom in the West contrary to the rants and screeds of noted scholars like Kerr and Popovich. People who are likely disheartened (but not deterred) by your empty and weak words. They fight and put it all on the line while you guys courageously attack a President you know won’t touch you. This goes for the clowns who run Nike and Apple too.

    Go face them and get back to us.

    All people fighting for their lives YOUR LEAGUE pissed on to go and have a China blow bang.

    When you’re done there. Then look up ‘Tank Man’ and see what a real hero looks like. To this day we don’t know who he is. You slam a ball into a steel rim. He stood before a machine of steel that could have mutilated him.

    Think on that.

  23. I really wish I had ever watched the NBA, so I could stop in protest.

  24. “James called Trump a “bum,” but he won’t utter a single bad word about China’s authoritarianism.”

    This is what happens when you allow illiterate jocks to express their opinions.
    They get roasted.
    Enjoy the warmth, Le Bron.

    1. Yo, Uncle Jay,

      They should just let Lebron keep talking. He’ll bury himself.

  25. I live near Cleveland and have been watching LeBron since he was a soph in HS. I was a fan during his first tenure here, and I was supportive when he left to pursue his dream, despite what most people here did. I was understanding when he didn’t marry the mother of his kids. I was happy to see him come back, and was OK with him doing his thing in LA since he doesn’t owe Cleveland anything. (although I thought it was a bad idea for other reasons)

    But now, I hope he gets stabbed in the eye with a chopstick. He’s an ignorant, selfish, racist progressive, and he can go to hell where they all belong.

    1. Big T… don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!

  26. I wonder if LeBron thinks that the people who rushed to repeat lies about Trayvon and Ferguson should have waited a bit to think about the consequences.

  27. “So, I don’t believe—I don’t want to get into a word or a sentence feud with Daryl, with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.”

    What a douche.

  28. Who knew lebron was a libertarian?

  29. I usually cut LeBron and other star athletes a lot of slack because people on all sides of every issue expect too much in the way of meaningful statements and actions from athletes, no matter how smart and articulate they are or are not. He usually makes sense. But the expression “follow the money” definitely applies here. Criticizing Donald Trump hardly cost LeBron any money. To the contrary, it probably pumped up his star rating a little bit. Criticizing the Chinese would likely have quite a different effect.

  30. LeBron is a shallow man, without understanding and respect for individual liberty. Just interested in his income.

  31. “we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative, that can happen, um, when you’re not thinking about others, or you’re only thinking about yourself.”

    Is LeBron aware there are 7 million people living in Hong Kong?

  32. Good to know Lebron identifies with people who aren’t too concerned with the oppression of minorities if it might negatively affect their bottom line.

  33. Herschel Walker – Still my most favorite football player ever:

    1. Go Dawgs!

      Some great memes in that thread

  34. Speech is not thought. It is the action of pushing air past your vocal chords and mouth to influence our environment.

    All actions have reactions and consequences.

    Free speech is only a right to guarantee that truth, reality, can be shared to influence others in the pursuit of ethical civilization.

    We already have necessary laws against lying, coercion with speech, in court and contracts. Without them our civilized economy and justice systems would collapse.

    Corrupt people, who take advantage of coercion with speech, need to lie. They try to conflate free speech with lying and truth with coercion.

    1. It’s the joooze, right, Misek?

      1. Lying is enshrined in the Jewish religion.

        Here is the Kol Nidre text. The holiest Jewish prayer on the holiest Jewish day.

        “All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas [curses]which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect: they shall not bind us nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths.”

        1. Yep, keep it up, scumbag bigot.

  35. He should be roasted. He’s a spineless piece of virtue signaling human trash. He and other athletes have one job: to entertain us. At some point we have to stop giving them a political platform and say “You’re nothing more than a temporary cure for boredom. Your purpose in life is to play a sport for money, so dance or get off stage.”

  36. I hate to write this, but there is well documented tension between the American Black and Asian communities. Could potential cultural bias against Asians account (at least in part) for his apparently differential views?

  37. I’d vote for James for president if I was dumb enough to vote. He is obviously a lot smarter than Trump and probably richer.

    1. It’s nice to hear that someone afflicted with TDS doesn’t vote; we wish the rest of those with similar mental problems didn’t also.

  38. Watch All NBA Games Live on LiveNetTV for free of cost.

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