New York CNN Business  — 

A simple image consisting of seven words might be the most troublesome tweet in corporate America this year.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey caused substantial damage with the NBA’s growing relationship with China after he voiced his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protestors.

The league has spent years and many millions of dollars investing in China, helping to build courts, giving broadcasting rights away for free and bringing its stars over for preseason games.

China makes up at least 10% of the league’s current revenue, according to one analyst, and the country is expected to contribute even more than that over the next decade, perhaps reaching 20% of the league’s revenue by 2030.

Morey’s tweet, which couldn’t be seen in China because the country has banned Twitter, is still reverberating across the two countries. The controversy is also likely being watched closely by other US companies that do business with China and have to balance that country’s laws with US ideals.

Here’s how the NBA’s crisis unfolded.

Friday, Oct. 4: The tweet heard round the world

Morey set off a firestorm in China last Friday when he posted an image on Twitter that read, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” The tweet has since been deleted.

Hours later, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, responded:

Sunday, Oct. 6: The reaction in China

The Chinese Basketball Association