A worker removes an NBA promotional banner from a building after China shut down NBA sponsorships and telecast plans following a tweet by an NBA club executive supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong

China Fans Cheer NBA Stars As Free Speech Row Rages

The NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets faced off Thursday before adoring Chinese fans in an exhibition game overshadowed by a free-speech row ignited when an American basketball executive expressed support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.Questions had swirled over whether the game, the first of two planned in China, would proceed after a tweet last Friday by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thrust the world's top basketball league into the centre of an escalating China-US dispute.
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