Sports Burst - How the NBA Has United America

Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

By Tim Stannard

 

Lakers-Nets preseason friendlies in China will not be televised over NBA's mixed messages on Daryl Morley tweet 

 

It has come to Sports Burst's limited attention that there tends to be more that divides Americans of late than unites them, especially amongst the country's politicians. 

Therefore, some kind of very shiny, jewel-encrusted medal should be forged for the NBA in these troubled times. After all getting the likes of Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke to agree on something is no mean feat. 

A casual tweet on Friday from a club GM, Daryl Morley, in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong has escalated to the point that a lucrative relationship between the NBA and China could be collapsing to leave the basketball association in quite the quandary. 

 

On Monday, the NBA put out an official communication calling Morley's comments "regrettable." After the NBA was hammered on both sides of the political divide for abandoning principles of free speech to chase a buck, Commissioner Adam Silver told a Chinese press agency that "Daryl Morley is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression." 

Silver also admitted that the NBA's initial statement "left people angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for," but also said that China's right to be upset was also respected.

While some critics at home might have been mildly mollified by that 'having it both ways' backtrack, Silver's words appear to have upset the Chinese with the state broadcaster now scrapping plans to show two LA Lakers and Brooklyn Nets preseason games taking place in China on Thursday and Sunday

 

The broadcaster also warned that it would "immediately investigate all cooperation and communication involving the NBA."

This leaves the NBA in quite the pickle. An organization that has built its brand as a billion dollar group with a social conscious described by the New York Times as the "world's wokest sports league" now to find a middle path between the principles of freedom expression and making enormous amounts of money. 

But in the meantime, the NBA has offered up a topic that most Americans appear to agree on. 

 

Bale out but James in at Real Madrid 

 

Over to the topsy turvy world of Real Madrid now and Spanish sports outlet 'AS' has been peering into the respective worlds of the clubs two misfit midfielders, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, and found very different future paths for the pair.

Apparently Bale has the grumps with Coach Zizou once again after being left out of the squad for Real Madrid's Champions League clash against Club Brugge last week when, for once, there was nothing physically wrong with the Welshman. 

AS writes that Bale will definitely look for a Madrid exit in the summer once proving to other clubs that he is worth their wages. 

A different vibe from James Rodriguez who is set to turn down the chance to play with Colombia in the country's upcoming friendlies against Chile and Algeria to continue winning over Coach Zizou's heart at Real Madrid's training ground over the next ten days.

James came off the bench against Granada on Saturday in the latter stages of the match and scored his first goal of the season - and on his return to Madrid - and would like to be in the picture to repeat the feat. 

The Sports Burst live show will be all over this and so much more. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET. 

 

Italy's coaching carousel continues 

 

It may be some kind of sporting illusion but it appears that Italy only has about five soccer coaches that are forever revolving around Serie A's clubs as well as doing spells at Chelsea.

Tuesday looks set to see Milan firing Marco Giampaolo (formerly of Sampdoria) after just seven rounds of the season gone. The San Siro side has picked up just nine points from those games. The club has been busy finding his replacement and reportedly turned to former Inter coach, Luciano Spalletti (formerly of Inter, Roma and Sampdoria.) 

A severance package could not be agreed with Inter, the club that fired Spalletti at the end of last season, so Milan are set to meet with Stefano Pioli who has coached at Fiorentina, Inter and and Lazio in recent years and was sacked by two of those teams. 

A third former Inter manager's name has been thrown into the mix with even Jose Mourinho being linked with the Milan job. 

 

Meanwhile, Sampdoria have parted ways with Eusebio di Francesco who only took over the team in the summer having been sacked Roma in March. 

Sampdoria are currently bottom of the Serie A standings with six defeats from seven. Which isn't that good really. 

However, EDF should not be too gloomy as he should be able grab at job at Milan, Lazio, Inter, Roma or even Sampdoria again sooner rather than later.