In October 2019, new Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey shook the basketball world by sharing a post on social media that expressed support for protesters in Hong Kong.
The executive was lambasted for his message and the NBA quickly went into damage mitigation mode. In the time that followed, Morey feared for the safety of his family in the aftermath of the backlash he received.
“Even so, Morey never anticipated the vitriol his tweet generated,” Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com wrote. “At one point, he said, based on intel provided to him, Morey had grave concerns regarding the safety of his wife and two children.
“‘I was actually really, really worried about that,'” Morey said. He declined to elaborate on the specific threats. ‘Luckily I had [access to] different people who were assisting me with that and giving me advice on how to handle it,’ he said. ‘Hopefully, I’ve been able to get where we have some level of safety.’
“‘But I was extremely concerned. You don’t want the second-most powerful government on Earth mad at you, if you can avoid it. In this case, I couldn’t.'”
Morey, 48, saw his comments alter the relationship between the NBA and China in numerous different ways.
Multiple people within the NBA admonished Morey for his controversial statement, especially with the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in China at the time.
As a matter of fact, Lakers four-time MVP LeBron James crushed Morey for creating a worldwide controversy. One Lakers players reportedly lost a hefty endorsement deal.
Now, Morey is trying to put all the drama behind him. The newly appointed president of the 76ers is trying to lead the franchise to a title.