When asked if he understands where the criticism of his China comments is coming from, LeBron offered this explanation ...
"Obviously, it's a tough situation we're all in right now. Us as an Association, us as athletes, owners, GMs, so on and so forth."
"I think when an issue comes up, if you feel passionate about it or you feel like there's something you wanna talk about, then so be it. I also don't think that every issue should be everybody's problem as well. When things come up, there's multiple things that we haven't talked about that happen in our own country that we don't bring up."
LeBron brought up his efforts to help kids in the inner city -- which has been commendable for sure -- but that's not really what people are asking about right now.
James wrapped up his statement this way ...
"There's issues all over the world. The best thing we can do is, if you feel passionate about it, talk about it. If you're not ... if you don't have a lot of knowledge about it or you don't quite understand it, I don't think you should talk about it because it just puts you in a tough position."
Unclear if that last line was another shot at Daryl Morey -- who Bron had previously accused of being "misinformed" about the China situation.
12:18 PM PT -- Michael Rapaport just DESTROYED LeBron on "TMZ Live" -- saying he's the "fakest" guy in the NBA. He also blasts Bron's team, including Maverick Carter, saying they're all "yes men" and "flunkies."
Rapaport also says people should STOP comparing Bron to Muhammad Ali -- explaining, "This guy couldn't hold Muhammad Ali's jockstrap."
7:21 AM PT -- As expected, protesters in Hong Kong are FURIOUS at LeBron James for speaking out against Daryl Morey ... and now they're burning Bron's jersey in the streets.
LeBron James is FINALLY talking about the Daryl Morey tweet that sparked an international incident ... saying the Rockets GM simply "wasn't educated" about China before he posted his pro-Hong Kong tweet.
"I think that's another situation that should stay behind closed doors," LeBron told the media.
Remember, LeBron and the Lakers were in Shanghai to play the Brooklyn Nets in an exhibition game last week when the backlash over the tweet began.
Chinese officials essentially blackballed the Houston Rockets immediately -- taking down signage, pulling merchandise and blocking TV networks from airing games.
But, now LeBron is back in the U.S. ... and he's calling out Morey for what LeBron is describing as a selfish tweet.
Lakers’ LeBron James on NBA’s China controversy: “I don’t want to get into a ... feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.” pic.twitter.com/KKrMNU0dKR
"We all talk about this freedom of speech. Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're only thinking about yourself," LeBron said.
"I don't want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. And, so many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So, just be careful what we tweet and what we say, and what we do. Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too."
When questioned about why he thinks Morey -- who had tweeted out "Fight For Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong" -- is uneducated, LeBron had this to say:
"That's just my belief. I don't know. That's my belief. That's all I can say. I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation."
"And, if he was, then so be it, but I have no idea. That's just my belief that when you say things or do things and you know the people can be affected by it, and the families and the individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed. And, also sometimes social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well. But, that's just my belief."
After LeBron made the comments, there was immediate backlash on social media from people upset with his comments. LeBron went to Twitter to defend himself.
"Let me clear up the confusion," LeBron said ... "I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that."
"My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it."