And note how quietly the relationship ended.
Even now, fear of offending Xi is the polestar for the cringing corporati who are so happy to lecture others about privilege and a state's abuse of minorities.
And while Ted Cruz is a preening windbag, his point about Cuban's fear of offending China was not rebutted.
The reality is, you can't have a growing global network of outreach and training centers and then turn into an aw-shucks isolationist when someone calls you out for profiting from your relationship with abusive regimes.
At the end of the day, Cuban and the rest of the NBA are just transnational businessmen trying to sell you something. Their political stances are part of a carefully-scripted sales pitch, and their connections to the community are brand maintenance. All of which serves an overarching brand strategy.
And smart businessmen are always happy to trade a passel of small customers for bigger ones.