The NBA found itself in the middle of a firestorm Monday — facing criticism from both Beijing and U.S. lawmakers — for its reaction to a tweet by the Houston Rockets’ general manager backing ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Beijing was furious over General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the protesters, while U.S. lawmakers slammed the NBA’s response as a capitulation.

The controversy erupted less than 48 hours before the Rockets were to begin a two-game preseason series against the Toronto Raptors outside Tokyo and ahead of more NBA exhibition games in China.