Inside the NBA's silent tension surrounding Daryl Morey

"AS AN EXECUTIVE who values digital platforms as a means to communicate with the world, Morey hired a Chinese firm a few years ago to help him manage his social media accounts in the country, including Weibo. That company dropped Morey as a client immediately following his tweet. Soon after, security consultants advised Morey to install advanced protective software on all of his devices and change his passwords to maximum strength.

When Morey reached out to a number of friends from Hong Kong soon after the story exploded, a few were too petrified to speak to him. Others, including some friends stateside who were concerned about surveillance and hacking, instructed him to install secure apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. One of Morey's closer friends from Hong Kong had his attorney return Morey's call on his behalf. The lawyer, who declined to offer his name when contacted by ESPN, told Morey that all communication should be channeled through him until further notice."