NBA nixes media availability for final game in China

The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will play Saturday’s final exhibition game in China on Saturday, but the NBA will not make players or coaches available to the media amid tensions over protests in Hong Kong.

The teams played Thursday in Shanghai with the same stipulation, as requested by the Chinese government.

In a statement released Friday, the league said it made the decision to extend the policy for the sake of the teams.

“We have decided not to hold media availability for our teams for t

t would be unfair to ask them to address these matters in real time.”

Saturday’s game will be played in Shenzhen, less than 30 kilometers from Hong Kong.

On Wednesday, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said on “The Dan Patrick Show” that the final two games could be canceled. Dave McMenamin reported on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that the games are in doubt over safety concerns. The network’s Rachel Nichols reported the NBA doesn’t want to cancel games, but said all NBA and player signage — massive images of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and a 20-foot NBA logo on the arena — was removed Wednesday by a single worker operating a crane.

State television broadcaster CCTV announced Tuesday that neither NBA game in the country would be televised. All 11 wholly owned Chinese companies with official partnerships with the NBA have severed ties with the NBA, CNN reported Wednesday afternoon.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)