Gordon Hayward's 'relationship stays the same' with Chinese sneaker company amid NBA controversy

Jacob Camenker

The NBA and China are currently at odds over a tweet sent out by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey supporting protesters in Hong Kong.

In the wake of the tweet that angered the Chinese government, there has been tension between China and the NBA. China has canceled planned broadcasts of NBA preseason games and at one point, it seemed possible that the league wouldn't go forward with the Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers preseason game scheduled to be played in Shanghai.

Instead, the game was played with media obligations for the players and coaches canceled. And players, coaches, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver are trying to tiptoe around the larger issues at hand. Teams are reportedly even prepared for a drop in the salary cap due to lost revenue from China. 

Amid the controversy, Chinese athletic footwear company Anta has broken off negotiations with the league. But according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is still on good terms with the company that sponsors him, and he will be wearing the sneakers again this season.

"My relationship stays the same," Hayward told Bulpett before Friday's preseason game in Orlando. "They've been great to me the whole time. I was just over there in China and had a great time, so it hasn't affected me."

Hayward didn't expound much on the business between the NBA and China and simply noted that he only knows that he is "good to go." He has his own signature shoes, the GH1, and he will be wearing them for the first time this season.

Hayward is entering his third season with the Celtics. Last year, he averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while primarily operating as a bench player. Now two years removed from a devastating ankle injury, he is expected to return to the Celtics' starting lineup in 2019.

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Gordon Hayward's 'relationship stays the same' with Chinese sneaker company amid NBA controversy originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston