“We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression. Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees. What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences.” As Chinese broadcasters moved to cancel NBA broadcasts over a (deleted) tweet from a team GM supportive of Hong Kong protestors, Commissioner Adam Silver stands by the right of free expression. “I’m sympathetic to our interests here and our partners that are upset. I don’t think it’s inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles.” Whether the NBA can stand by those principles will be a very big story moving forward, as this controversy isn’t limited to sports; and American leaders (political and corporate) will have to decide where to draw the line between payroll and rolling over. Americans are hardly strangers to the notion of doing business with countries even when they don’t cede to our humanitarian demands. But it’s a different situation when we toe the party line of our most formidable foe so three pointers can make dough in China.

+ Quartz: The NBA has to choose between its $4-billion China business and its values.

+ WaPo: From Shake Shack to Starbucks, the Hong Kong-China standoff is proving bad for business.

+ This is not just some isolated incident. Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Player For Hong Kong Support, Pulls Prize Money.

+ “There’s one rather glaring hole in this story of immediate outrage from Chinese fans over Morey’s tweet: Twitter is banned in China.” That’s just one of many interesting tidbits in Ben Thompson’s look at The China Cultural Clash.

+ Meanwhile, the US just blacklisted China’s most valuable facial recognition startups over human rights abuses.