The Nets and Lakers did, in fact, have their preseason game in Shanghai. (It’s likely still happening as you read this.) Except the game wasn’t broadcast in China — after Chinese officials pulled the broadcast amid this week’s saga, they put soccer on instead. Chinese officials also cancelled all media availability before, during, and after the game: no press conferences in Shanghai for Adam Silver, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, or the teams’ coaches. China greatly reduced all promotion of the game, reportedly pulling tickets off of the market in recent days and pulling down banners near the arena.
Tania Ganguli and Alice Su wrote a scene piece on how bizarre this week has been for the Lakers and for NBA fans in Shanghai. This includes the arrest of a Rockets fan who threatened to burn the Chinese flag over the incident.
Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll writes that the NBA should have brought the teams home. Given the latest twists, it’s hard to disagree. What’s the upside here? What’s the point, at this point?
These will quite possibly be the last NBA games played in China for years. It’s hard to see how this situation thaws out any time soon.
Events in Shanghai have our attention this morning, but by the evening all eyes should be on D.C. where the Mystics and Sun will battle it out one last time for the WNBA Championship. This would be the first championship for either team and the series has been a total classic. Game 5 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) should be wonderful.
Game 5. Let’s go!
Just an incredible yarn by a high-stakes ticket scalper. What a life.
BEEF HISTORY! LeBron vs. Joakim Noah.
Sheesh, Zion Williamson is incredible — 29 points on 12-13 shooting?!
Kristaps Porzingis played for the first time in a long time and looked quite good.
Tim Bontemps on Jayson Tatum “de-Mamba-fying” his game, which is just a terrific neologism.
Be excellent to each other.