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NBA Cares event featuring Lakers cancelled in China, team set to address situation

With the Lakers and Nets both having their NBA Cares events cancelled in China, it seems all-but-certain that their preseason games in the country will be next to go.

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2019 NBA Global Games - Los Angeles Lakers Plane Ride Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Los Angeles Lakers made their original schedule for their preseason trip to China to take on the Brooklyn Nets in two preseason games, both organizations were slated to have NBA Cares events in the country during their time there.

Both of those events have now officially been cancelled, according to multiple reports:

(Update: Or maybe they won't talk soon.)

These cancellations come in the aftermath of CCTV and Tencent’s decisions to not broadcast the Lakers’ games against the Nets within the country after China didn’t like Adam Silver’s statement defending Daryl Morey’s right to free speech on Tuesday morning.

As of publishing time, the Lakers are still slated to play against the Nets at 4:30 a.m. PST on Thursday and Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and Shenzhen Dayun Arena in Shenzhen, respectively. Despite the cancellation of the Chinese broadcasts, both Spectrum Sportsnet (locally in L.A.) and NBA TV (nationally) are both still scheduled to air the games, should they take place.

Those games being played looks increasingly unlikely, however, as the two teams and the NBA as a whole continue to engage in a standoff with China that has persisted since Morey, the Houston Rockets’ general manager, tweeed (and quickly deleted) a message of support for protestors currently demonstrating in Hong Kong. China’s dissatisfaction with the NBA’s response so far has led to multiple reports that the games appear to be in jeopardy.

Silver has said that he plans to meet with Chinese officials soon, and with the Lakers and Nets also slated to speak to the media in the next few hours, it seems likely we’ll know pretty quickly here whether or not Thursday and Saturday’s preseason games will be played at all. Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for the latest updates.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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