NBA: Stephen Curry cautious, Charles Barkley blasts 'idiots, fools' in ongoing row in China amid more protests

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is taking a wait-and-see attitude about the NBA's future with China.

Agence France-Presse October 11, 2019 11:53:30 IST
NBA: Stephen Curry cautious, Charles Barkley blasts 'idiots, fools' in ongoing row in China amid more protests
  • Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is taking a wait-and-see attitude about the NBA's future with China.

  • Former NBA star Charles Barkley has made up his mind, however, ripping critics of the NBA dealing with China despite human rights issues.

  • Issues of free speech, and fears of compromising it in exchange for access to 1.4 billion Chinese consumers and lucrative sponsorship deals, have taken center stage.

San Francisco: Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is taking a wait-and-see attitude about the NBA's future with China while Charles Barkley is ripping NBA critics and more Hong Kong supporters protest at NBA pre-season games.

NBA Stephen Curry cautious Charles Barkley blasts idiots fools in ongoing row in China amid more protests

File image of Stephen Curry. Reuters

A tweet supporting Hong Kong democracy protesters a week ago by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey prompted China to suspend sponsor deals with the club and cancel plans to televise two NBA pre-season games nationwide.

Issues of free speech, and fears of compromising it in exchange for access to 1.4 billion Chinese consumers and lucrative sponsorship deals, have taken center stage. Curry, who makes regular trips to China for business deals, sees the issues not only about growing the league and sport but also about the impact on people in China and elsewhere.

"It's an interesting situation because there's so much history involved in it. I don't know that history well enough to speak on it or form an opinion yet. I'm staying tuned like everybody else," Curry said.

"Something this big, that involves the entire landscape of the league, the importance of a country like China, that's something you're not just walking into lightheartedly saying stuff off the cuff. This situation has a huge weight and gravity to it," he added.

Curry said it was important to study and learn details from all perspectives to make informed opinions. "We understand this is a business," he said. "It's about growing the game not only domestically but internationally and the opportunity that's out there across many countries, including China."

"So this is going to affect people and we're going to have to figure out how you walk in the future and what this means. At this point, there's nothing really to go on. It's really fluid," Curry said.

Idiots, jackasses and fools

Former NBA star Barkley has made up his mind, however, ripping critics of the NBA dealing with China despite human rights issues. "They have got billions of dollars at stake," Barkley told Turner Sports. "It's a business decision and I understand the NBA. The players and the owners both have got billions of dollars at stake," he said.

Barkley rebuked those who want "the moral high ground" over the NBA's conduct while former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling protests over racial injustice and social issues, has been unable to find work in a league with plenty of injured quarterbacks.

"All these idiots and jackasses and fools on radio and television are the same people who have been hating on Colin Kaepernick for the last few years," Barkley said.

"Now, all of a sudden you want to control what happens in a foreign country. Give me a break. I find it funny everybody wants the players to take a stand when it's not your billions of dollars. It's easy for somebody to take a stand when they don't have any skin in the game," he added.

US president Donald Trump, whom Curry has criticized in the past, lashed out at Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who like Curry wanted to learn more before commenting. Trump considered that a weak response on the NBA-China matter compared to Kerr's past criticism of Trump.

Trump said Kerr, a five-time NBA champion player, and three-time NBA champion coach, was "like a little boy, he was so scared to be even answering the question... He didn't know how to answer the question, and yet he'll talk about the United States very badly."

Curry joked: "I've got to welcome Steve to the club. That's par for the course right there. It's weird, cause I figured he'd have better things to do with his time at this point."

More protesters at US games 

Protesters supporting Hong Kong freedom, meanwhile, showed up inside and outside the arena as the NBA's Washington Wizards defeated China's Guangzhou Lions 137-98 in a pre-season game on Wednesday in the US capital's Chinatown neighborhood.

Protesters handed out "Free Hong Kong" T-shirts and displayed such signs as "Memo to the NBA: Principles over profit. No censorship. USA loves Hong Kong" and "The NBA bows to murderers in Beijing. Stand with Hong Kong."

There were minor disruptions inside the arena. After the Chinese national anthem was played, one ticket buyer yelled: "Freedom of expression. Freedom of speech. Free Hong Kong." Security escorted out a spectator who refused to surrender a "Free Tibet" sign. The Wizards said that while building security staff removed signs as part of arena policy, no spectators were asked to leave.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Pope Francis hails NBA players for their 'collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice'
Sports

Pope Francis hails NBA players for their 'collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice'

The five players — Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver — were joined in the delegation by NBA players' union executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.

In final days of Oval Office, Donald Trump pursues policies to make Joe Biden's task more difficult
World

In final days of Oval Office, Donald Trump pursues policies to make Joe Biden's task more difficult

The president's political appointees are going to extraordinary lengths to try to prevent Biden from rolling back his legacy: filling vacancies on scientific panels, pushing to complete rules that weaken environmental standards, nominating judges and rushing their confirmations

Donald Trump bans US investment in Chinese firms that could help Beijing’s military apparatus
World

Donald Trump bans US investment in Chinese firms that could help Beijing’s military apparatus

The ban takes effect on 11 January and targets 31 companies, including telecom, aerospace and construction firms