NBA saga in China by taking shots at some of his biggest critics in the league rather than at Beijing.onald Trump has worked his way into the ongoing
When asked at a press conference on Wednesday if he was okay with China pressuring the NBA over a tweet sent out by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey in support of the Hong Kong protests, Trump used the opportunity to mock Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“I was watching this guy, Steve Kerr, and he was like a little boy,” Trump said. “He was so scared to even be answering the question. He couldn’t answer the question. He was shaking. And yet he’ll talk about the United States very badly.”
“I watched Popovich, sort of the same thing, but he didn’t look quite as scared actually. But, they talk badly about the United States, but when it talks about China they don’t want to say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually.
When the reporter pressed him again on whether he had any problem with how the Chinese government was pressuring the NBA, Trump responded that the league has to “work out their own situation” before returning to mocking Kerr and Pop.
“I watch the way that Kerr, Popovich, and some of the others were pandering to China and yet to our country, it’s like they don’t respect it. It’s like they don’t respect it. I said, ‘What a difference. Isn’t it sad?’ To me, it’s very sad.”
President Trump criticizes Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich — both vocal critics of Trump — when asked about China putting pressure on the NBA: "They talk badly about the United States, but when it talks about China, they don't want to say anything bad" https://t.co/rR2dKOelYD pic.twitter.com/am9hMQcGG3
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 9, 2019
While NBA commissioner Adam Silver has supported Morey’s right to free speech, no NBA player, coach, or employee has yet expressed their support for what Morey actually tweeted.
Neither have they given their own opinion on the demonstrations in Hong Kong, which have been going on for more than four months and have been one of the world’s biggest stories of the year.
When asked for his thoughts, Kerr responded that he needed to do some more research.
Steve Kerr no comments on the Morey/China/NBA situation. Says he’s been reading about it, doesn’t feel versed enough to comment. Full back and forth here. pic.twitter.com/HM1NuF46vG
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 8, 2019
Popovich, meanwhile, expressed his support for the stance taken by Silver but failed to give his own thoughts on the situation in Hong Kong.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he supports the comments from NBA commish Adam Silver surrounding the controversy with the league and China. pic.twitter.com/kKadrF6Xwp
— Will Manso (@WillMansoWPLG) October 8, 2019
Of course, Kerr and Popovich are basketball coaches while Trump is the president of the United States.
In that position, he has mostly remained silent on the pro-democracy, anti-government protests in Hong Kong, declaring that he hopes the situation will “work out for everybody, including China.” As a way of bringing the demonstrations to an end, he even suggested that Xi Jinping meet personally with the protesters.
In a June phone call with Xi, Trump is reported to have promised to keep quiet about the demonstrations while trade negotiations between the two countries play out.