Praising the NBA commissioner as a "courageous" and "very progressive leader," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he was thrilled with the way Adam Silver had handled the global fallout stemming from Tweets from Houston general manager Daryl Morey supportive of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Having been criticized in some corners for not being more supportive of Morey amidst the backlash from China, a major revenue producer for the NBA, Silver on Tuesday issued a statement clarifying the league's positions. It walked a line between underscoring the NBA's "great affinity for the people of China" while also taking a stand for the free speech of its players, employees and team owners.

One of the more outspoken and socially conscious coaches in the NBA, Popovich -- who recently returned from leading Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in China -- praised Silver's approach to a hot-button subject.