We open with a geopolitical controversy that involves world superpowers and was triggered by a tweet (but in an unexpected twist, the tweet was not authored in the White House). The tweet came from Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey. It was only up for a short time before Morey deleted it and began apologizing: “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China … I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.” What was the content of the tweet? “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” James Harden, standing next to his teammate Russell Westbrook, took to the airwaves to apologize for his GM’s deleted tweet. “We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there. For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.” Why were even NBA stars, in league “that encourages free speech and commentary on politics and other social issues,” dribbling all over themselves to dunk on democracy? Because the most important love Harden speaks of is money, geopolitics has been corporatized, and there’s no more important play in basketball than the bank shot. NYT: N.B.A. Executive’s Hong Kong Tweet Starts Firestorm in China.

+ CNN: China suspends business ties with NBA’s Houston Rockets over Hong Kong tweet.

+ Related (sort of): South Park Scrubbed From Chinese Internet After Critical Episode.