On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers will play their first game since returning back from their rollercoaster of a trip in China, which was marred by the controversial tweet Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent, telling the people of Hong Kong to “fight for freedom” in the midst of heated protests.
The Rockets’ G League team team was scheduled to play in China against teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, but the games were canceled, and the pair of games between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were in question up until the last few hours before the two teams played on Thursday. However, while the Lakers took care of business while they were in China, there was no shortage of questions for them once they got back into the states — especially because there was no media availability during their trip.
LeBron James went to bat for the Lakers before his team tipped off against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, and he said he wishes Daryl Morey would have taken a moment to think about the people that were affected by his tweet.
“I think when we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened, understand that what you could tweet or could say (could affect people),” James said. “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 when you’re not thinking about others, and you’re only thinking about yourself.
“I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud 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 and 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 later clarified that he didn’t mean that Morey was uneducated on the political situation, but the situation that he put the Lakers and Nets in while they were in China.
Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
James said he didn’t feel comfortable engaging in a political conversation because it wasn’t something he knew too much about, and he doesn’t think the Lakers should be in a position to comment for the same reason.
“I think when we talk about the political side, I think it’s a very delicate situation. A very sensitive situation. And I think for me personally, for any of you guys who know me or always cover me, you know that when I speak about something, I speak about something I’m very knowledgeable about. Something that hits home for me. Something I’m very passionate about, and I felt like with this particular situation it was something that not only was I not informed enough about.
“I just felt like it was something that not only myself or my teammates or the organization had enough information to talk about it at that point in time. And we still feel the same way.”
James will sit out against the Warriors on Monday. He said he plans to play on Wednesday.