One former employee of the NBA who worked in China wondered how the league could be progressive on issues such as Black Lives Matter and moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte over a law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms based on their birth certificate could also operate a training camp amid a Chinese government crackdown that targeted employees of the league.

"You can't have it both ways," the former employee said. "... You can't be over here in February promoting Black History Month and be over in China, where they're in reeducation camps and all the people that you're partnering with are hitting kids."

Mark Tatum said the NBA "has a long history and our values are about inclusion and respect and bridging cultural divides. That is what we stand for and that is who we are as an organization. We do think that engagement is the best way to bridge cultural divides, the best way to grow the game across borders."