Adam Silver said he's talked to Yao Ming about how trade tariffs could potentially affect the NBA's business in China. Yao is currently the chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Silver said he and Yao discussed the potential of using basketball as a diplomatic effort to soften the tension between two countries due to their history of working together to develop the game.

“This is something Yao and I have discussed, where we can use basketball maybe in the way ping-pong was used in the days of Richard Nixon, that there could be something called ‘basketball diplomacy.’ And it is an area where our two countries have excellent history of cooperation, where we work closely with the Chinese Basketball Association on player development, referee development," said Silver.

This summer's World Cup of Basketball will be played in China. The Chinese national team will also compete in the Las Vegas summer league.

Silver added that the NBA is also in the process of building developmental academies in China.