Kid's Tricky Hong Kong Protest Wins The NBA's Opening Night

The young fan's bait-and-switch move at the Lakers-Clippers game was genius as demonstrators had their say amid NBA tensions with China over free speech.

Score one for free speech, kid.

A young fan at the Lakers-Clippers game on the NBA’s opening night Tuesday held up a Clippers T-shirt during a dance cam segment, then switched to a Hong Kong protest shirt before the camera could pan away.


The words on the shirt echoed the tweet of a Houston Rockets executive whose public solidarity with pro-democracy protesters prompted China to take measures against the NBA.

Chinese state television did not air the NBA’s two opening night games, and the league’s streaming partner, Tencent, cut its schedule and broadcast only the Lakers-Clippers game, ESPN reported.

Demonstrators formed a group on Reddit to distribute the protest shirts near the Staples Center before the Lakers-Clippers game, ESPN reported. But only a smattering of them were worn at the game, according to the Los Angeles Times.

At least one fan made the most of his.

The Clippers won, by the way, 112-102.