China to restrict NBA players to play in CBA
Updated: 2011-08-19 20:43
SHENZHEN - The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) said on Friday that it will restrict the players of the US National Basketball Association (NBA) to play in its domestic league.
"We welcome free-agent players of the NBA to play at least a full season in the CBA," said Bai Xilin, director of the CBA League Office, after an executive meeting here.
Bai said contracted players of the NBA would not be allowed to join in CBA clubs from next season, a decision which was applauded by most the of 17 teams of the league.
The league will adjust the form of contracts between the clubs and the players to prevent foreign players from leaving early during the season with excuses like fake injuries or family problems.
The Shanxi Zhongyu, one of the CBA teams, announced Thursday that Kobe Byrant of the Los Angeles Lakers would sign contract with the team if the league allows NBA players to play in the CBA without restrictions.
Bai said the decision had actually banned Byrant from playing for the Zhongyu.
More restrictions will be followed before the start of the league on November 20.
The meeting did not come out with a decision of whether to expand the league in the following two seasons. Local reports said the CBA would be expanded to 20 teams in the 2012-2013 season.
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