Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang refuted Adam Silver's claim that China called for the firing of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over his tweet supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Shaung says the "Chinese government never posed this requirement," according to The Associated Press.
The NBA commissioner spoke about the league's tense relations with China at the Time 100 Health Summit on Thursday, detailing the demands from the nation's government and other parties in response to Morey's actions.
"We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business," Silver said. "We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him."
The Chinese Basketball Association, with former Rockets star Yao Ming as its president, has cut off relations with the NBA club. Meanwhile, China's state broadcaster continues to suspend its broadcast of league games.