"As Rockets fans filed into the arena for the team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the demonstrators gathered in the entrance plaza, wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the words 'Fight For Freedom' on the front and 'China, Stop Bullying' on the back," Arnovitz wrote.
"They held American flags as well as signs expressing support for free expression and criticizing the Chinese government. Two attendees held a large gold banner that read, 'Hong Kong's fight is everyone's fight.'"
The Vietnamese Community of Houston and Vicinities and Texas for Hong Kong organized the 35-person rally, per Arnovitz.
"A group of 30 fans at the Houston Rockets' season opener against Milwaukee held signs and wore shirts in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Thursday night," Rieken wrote.
"The majority of the group was from Houston's Vietnamese community, but it also included people from Hong Kong."
Mike Hixenbaugh of NBC Sports provided photos from the evening:
In response, Chinese broadcasters announced that they would stop airing and live-streaming Rockets games, per Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business. The Chinese Basketball Association, led by president and ex-Rocket great Yao Ming, also cut off its relationship with the Rockets.
A cycle of controversy has since ensued, with people supporting the Hong Kong protests denouncing the NBA for its initial reaction and all 11 Chinese corporations with previous ties to the NBA severing their relationships, per Valinsky.
The Rockets' next scheduled home game is Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET.