LeBron James has condemned Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for his tweet supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has finally joined the discussion on the fallout after playing a pre-season game in China.

The NBA‘s highly lucrative relationship with China is now at threat after Morey supported anti-government protests in Hong Kong in a since-deleted tweet that read,  “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

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“I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” said the three-time NBA champion. “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”

A media boycott in China of the league, as well as sponsors pulling out, has followed the furore surrounding the tweet, while NBA commissioner Adam Silver did not completely apologise, emphasising the need “to protect our employees’ freedom of speech”, though fans supporting Hong Kong were ejected from a pre-season game in the United States.

“Yes, we do all have freedom of speech,” James continued. “But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re thinking about yourself.

“That’s just my belief. I don’t know. That’s my belief. That’s all I can say. I believe he was misinformed or not really educated on the situation. And if he was, then so be it.”

LeBron James during pre-season for the Lakers (AFP via Getty)

James has been hailed in the past for his strong views on social issues, but attracted immediate criticism here.

And he appeared to backtrack following his media conference, clarifying on Twitter: ”Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet.

“I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.”

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