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China denies asking for Morey's firing

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

The rift between the NBA and China appeared to widen again Friday, as the fallout over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong continued.

A day after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Chinese officials wanted Morey fired, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry told reporters that no such demand was made by the government there. That becomes the latest chapter in the now 2-week-old saga over Morey's tweet that was quickly deleted but has led to considerable damage to the long relationship between the NBA and China.

"I felt we had made enormous progress in terms of building cultural exchanges with the Chinese people," Silver said Thursday during an appearance at the Time 100 Health Summit in New York. "Again, I have regret that much of that was lost. And I'm not even sure where we'll go from here."

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