As we first spotted on TRUEHOOP, the NBA playoffs have disappeared from Chinese television sets following the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in China on May 12th. Once normal programming returned to the Chinese state sports station, the NBA reappeared for only one game before being replaced. The explanation from the head of the station?
“These games are not in accordance with the atmosphere of the nation after the devastation of the earthquake. They are too entertaining” Jiang Heping, director of the state TV sports channel, told Reuters.
“We did show one game but then we were informed not to continue.”
Henry Abbott’s TRUEHOOP readers go on to refute that, claiming other sports programming replaced the NBA tilts. Their explanation? The Chinese government holds a grudge about a letter signed by many NBA players last season (but not swoosher LeBron James) at the request of Lakers guard Ira Newble to protest Chinese support of the Sudanese government through weapons sales and trade agreements (a.k.a. oil).