There was NO way the Chinese government was going to do anything to high-profile US athletes over a somewhat innocuous tweet from the owner of a team these athletes didn't even play for.
That isn't the issue. Perhaps you and stupid Andrea should shack up together. I truly can't believe how ignorantly oblivious you people really are.
First, it wasn't just the tweet that put the players in danger. The Chinese government cancelled planned activities of the NBA players and placed them all in the position of being asked questions about the tweet. The Chinese government through proxy was the sole entity that protected the players while they were in China.
THAT is what placed them in danger because it is against the law in China to offer support to what they see as a seditious movement!
The Chinese government often uses the "subversion of state power" and "protection of state secrets" clauses in their law system to imprison those who criticize the government. WTF is so difficult to understand about that reality? If the players had defended the sentiment behind the tweet they would have violated Chinese law and possibly subjected themselves to arrest.
So you think pro players have nothing to worry about while in China? Have you already forgotten what just happened a year ago? The point being that US basketball players broke Chinese law and where jailed for doing so. You really think that China wouldn't love to flex its muscles and show the world that they will not allow hi-profile foreigners to break their laws by impugning their government?
While in China, LeBron James and the players were there as employees of the NBA, not as American citizens just traveling for pleasure. As with any global corporation, controversial issues are the purview of ownership, not the hired help, which is why Adam Silver was the only NBA representative who spoke on the topic while the players were in China.
The fact is that Houston's Morey, who made the tweet in question, has since backtracked incessantly, trying unsuccessfully to distance his personal views from his professional employers. No corporation would allow an employee's freedom of speech to jeopardize a billion plus dollars of business no matter how right from a human rights perspective the employee inarguably was.
China is a repressive, closed society that does not allow their citizens the rights we often take for granted. Freedom isn't always free and neither are all types of critical speech. Morey has found that out the hard way. The timing of his tweet put the players and league into a jeopardy that wouldn't have existed had the tweet been posted AFTER the players returned. This is what LeBron criticized, not the fact that Morey supported the freedom movement.