Since Trevor Noah seems to be the only host that's gonna cover this news in the States...
Here in Taiwan, our fake-ass rip-off of The Daily Show is trying to pick up the slack.
Tonight's story, the NBA vs China.
and you already know.
So, earlier this month,
Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey sent out a tweet in support of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.
Now China responded angrily,
pulling games from state television, tearing down NBA banners and pulling merchandise from stores.
However, by the beginning of this week, the story had begun to die down,
and that is until LeBron James waded into the controversy.
LeBron James: "I don't want to get into a feud with Daryl,
with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand
and he spoke."
Anchor: "James not commenting about any political tension in the region,
instead, focusing on how Morey's comments damaged the NBA's relationship with the country."
James: "So many people could have been harmed.
Not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually."
Brian: That's absolutely right. People could have been physically harmed by Morey's tweet,
which is definitely Morey's fault, not China's.
Here to help us understand the story more is our senior NBA correspondent Sam Yarbs.
Yarbs: Thank you. Thank you
Look, LeBrons reaction was certainly disappointing, but I have to say we should have seen this coming.
It's strange that the league's most outspoken player,
waited over a week to comment on the league's biggest controversy.
James: "Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six,
Yarbs: In this video LeBron's actually counting the number of times
he could have spoken up this week about Hong Kong.
Brian: Seems like in this case, democracy and free speech were definitely:
Anchor: "Oh! Blocked by James!"
Brian & Yarbs: Oh...
Brain: Vicious block by James, my god.
So, reaction has been swift. Already, protesters have been burning his jersey in Hong Kong
Protester: "We are very angry at that, and people start burning his jersey."
I run the social media page, people send me like videos.
They start burning LeBron's jersey.
Yarbs: Though to be fair, that's not something James is unfamiliar with.
At this point, LeBron's jersey has been on fire more than Iraq's oil fields.
Forget LeBron James. LBJ should stand for "LeBurned Jersey".
[NOTE: Brian Tseng once said a joke about Cheng Nan-jung's self-burning incident in 1989. It was considered offensive by some people, and Tseng decided to apologize and give up his post as a host on The Night Night Show starting season 4.]
Brian: That joke was worse than his comment.
So Sam, the main complaint people seem to have is that in this situation
LeBron is being hypocritical.
He's usually outspoken in these situations.
But now he seems unwilling to call out China for the heavy-handed tactics.
Yarbs: And that criticism is pretty much spot-on.
LeBron has always fashioned himself as someone who speaks truth to power, even in video games!
Check out this cut-scene from NBA 2K20.
James in NBA 2K20: "I speak for those without a voice, people who grew up like I did:
poor, without hope.
Those people, those kids, they exist on every corner of the globe..."
Brian: ...except for Hong Kong!
Yarbs: Wait! Brian, I have to disagree, alright? People are saying this is hypocritical.
I think LeBron is just being "specific".
The protesters in Hong Kong do have a voice because so far the police have only shot them in the eyes.
You can still hear their voices when they're shouting at the police to stop beating them with hammers.
That is certainly embarrassing.
To be fair though, he wasn't the only player to stumble while asked about this issue.
Yarbs: Oh, absolutely not.
Here's James Harden throwing Daryl Morey under the bus.
I mean, "speaking to the Chinese audience."
James Harden: "Today we apologize umm...
you know, you know we love China..
we love...you know, playing there."
Brian: Oh my god, Harden's defense.
Yarbs: Harden looks like Charles Barkley in Space Jam right after the Nerdluck steals his basketball skills.
Both: Sorry, you know, I'm sorry. Yarbs: Uh...sorry, China...
Yarbs: This whole thing is basically Space Jam.
Here's a video of Xi Jinping after he was asked what if not all NBA players agree with China.
: "Make 'em!"
Yarbs: Make 'em. Brian: Make 'em.
Yarbs: President Xi is basically Swackhammer from Space Jam,
except instead of sending aliens to steal NBA players skills,
he's sending money to steal their ability to think independently.
Brian: And that's... it's not just the players that are embarrassing themselves.
The new Nets owner Joseph Tsai had a long post on Facebook,
arguing that you need to understand 5,000 years of Chinese history
before you can comment on Hong Kong.
Like you can't understand teenagers getting beaten by the police
until you've read up on the Opium War.
Yarbs: For those who don't know,
Tsai is a billionaire and the co-founder of the company Alibaba,
which is basically Amazon.com
if Jeff Bezos was allowed to have more slaves.
Brian: Yes, Tsai claims to speak on behalf of 1.4 billion Chinese people were all united in anger over Morey's tweet,
even though they live in a country where twitter is illegal.
Glad to hear from Tsai though, a billionaire Taiwanese Canadian who went to Yale and played lacrosse...
I mean finally we can understand what the average Chinese citizen is thinking.
Yarbs: However, the most common response
to this story has been depressingly uniform.
Stephen Curry: "There's so much history involved and...
and I don't know that history well enough to kind of speak on...
...to speak on it or to form an opinion yet."
: "It's a really bizarre, international story.
it's something I'm reading about and just like everybody is.
but i'm not gonna comment further."
Yarbs: It's complicated.
Too hard to understand! it makes my head hurt!
For the last 7 years,
I had no problem remembering the names and backstories of 100 different characters on Game of Thrones.
But come on, that show had dragons! Brian!
Brian: They had dragons. Come on.
Yarbs: How am I supposed to make sense of this difficult international story?
Brian: That is a very good question, Sam.
That's why we prepared this video for NBA players to learn about Hong Kong.
Hi, I'm Brian.
Today, we're gonna learn about Hong Kong,
a place NBA players don't give a shit about.
Because they're so afraid of losing that Chinese money.
Recently, a lot of people don't know how to react to the Hong Kong situation.
Because it's so complicated! [bad for business]
So we're here to break it down for you.
POLICE ARE SHOOTING PEOPLE FOR WANTING DEMOCRACY.
Oh, you want to learn more about Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is best known for its dim sum,
because in their restaurants you can actually choose what you want...
...unlike their elections.
You might remember Hong Kong for all of their crime films.
Oh, they're just so good at making those.
But now their police are taking it up a notch and shooting people in real life.
Look how realistic those bullets look!
Now we all know that POLICE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHOOT CIVILIANS...
...unless you have enough money to silence those with a voice.
To be fair, the reason why Hong Kongers are protesting is actually very complicated,
They have 5 demands.
5, is a very big number.
That's like five times the amount of the useful players the Hornets have.
Not to mention how unrealistic their demands are.
Like "Don't call us rioters" and "To have a real election".
Oh my god,
Who are you kidding? You're a part of China!
Now, it is still safe to visit Hong Kong...
...as long as you stay in Disneyland.
The Hong Kong version of Mickey Mouse is unlike anywhere else in the world...
... because he's not allowed to wear a mask.
Not so fun for Halloween, Hong Kong!
Now, If you still want to remain silent when Hong Kong is fighting for democracy because it's "too complicated".
We just hope that when your police start shooting your eyes,