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Houston Rockets GM, who sparked controversy between the NBA and China, is stepping down

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 23: Daryl Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets, talks on the phone during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 23, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Daryl Morey, who in October last year sparked controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, is stepping down as the Houston Rockets general manager.

(CNN)Daryl Morey, who in October last year sparked controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, is stepping down as the Houston Rockets general manager.

Morey will leave his current role on November 1 after spending 14 years with the Rockets, helping his side reach the last eight consecutive playoffs.

In a statement on Thursday, Morey says he made the decision to step down after returning from the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

"After discussing my thoughts with family and close friends, I've decided I'll be stepping away from the Rockets organization effective November 1st," Morey said.

Despite his success with the Rockets, Morey will likely be remembered for causing a diplomatic storm between China and the NBA.

Several Chinese businesses cut ties with the Rockets as a result and the NBA came under severe pressure from Chinese authorities.

The league initially distanced itself from Morey's tweet, expressing regret for offending "friends and fans in China" but this led to further criticism that it was comprising its principles to further its financial interests.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver later came out in support of Morey in terms of his freedom of expression but fans in China still called for him to be fired.

For the first time in more than a year, the hiatus ended last week, with CCTV airing Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

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