According to China Daily, 17 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) club owners sat down with league officials to discuss the possible signing of current NBA players during the NBA lockout. The agreed upon terms will not allow clubs to sign NBA contracted players:
According to the new regulation, the CBA will only allow clubs to sign free agents who could play for at least for one entire season. That gets around potential loopholes that players could opt out to return to the NBA for reasons such as suspect injuries or family affairs, if they didn’t have a specific provison written into their contracts stating they could return to the NBA when the lockout ends.
It’s not that the CBA wants to keep out big stars. The club bosses were worried about the negative impact both to the league and the clubs if they (NBA stars) suddenly quit and went back to the US,” Sohu.com quoted Bai as saying after the meeting.
This new rule now diminishes any possibility of Kobe Bryant playing in China.
The decision by the CBA is somewhat confusing. As NBA stars signing with CBA teams, even for the short term, would not only bring a lot of attention to their league. But, also have advertisers knocking down the door.
Right now, the CBA’s focus is not on making money but cultivating the nation’s young talent. The rule will protect clubs who try to hone their young guys and can’t meet the NBA stars’ requirements or special clauses. It hurts the fans, but benefits the league’s stability,” said Yang Yi, Titan Sports deputy chief editor and renowned commentator.
The other issue that has come up is international teams having to pay insurance to insure the players contract in case of a serious injury, etc. That issue alone makes NBA stars playing overseas a lot easier said than done.