NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Defends League’s Relationship With China: ‘We Have to Build Close Relationships’

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver said he wants his organization to have a close relationship with China because it needs “to build relationships” in order to “bring about realistic change.”

“The political science major in me believes that engagement is better than isolation,” Silver said in an interview with Time Magazine. “That a so-called boycott of China, taking into account legitimate criticisms of the Chinese system, won’t further the agenda of those who seek to bring about global change. Working with Chinese solely on NBA basketball has been a net plus for building relationships between two superpowers.”

Critics have mostly disagreed with Silver’s assessment. The issue has been a source of contention since 2019, when Houston
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