Just hours after Shanxi Zhongyu announced their deal with Kobe, the Chinese basketball league decided not to allow players who have deals with NBA teams to play in CBA. The league lists 108 players who have no deals with NBA; only them can register in CBA.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwyane Wade won't be playing for a Chinese club come fall.
Today, the Chinese Basketball League banned NBA players from signing with Chinese clubs if they have an NBA contract.
NBA free agents can still sign in China; however, getting an opt-out clause to return to America when the lockout ends may be difficult.
In other words: if you sign in China, you stay in China.
This is fair. The government created the Chinese Basketball League to develop talent for the national team, and not to provide leverage for locked-out, millionaire superstars from America.
And now Billy Hunter and the Players Union have a problem. The game's biggest stars have maintained they'll head to China if the owners prolong the lockout with their hardball negotiating tactics.
Such a threat is now meaningless. The money, lifestyle, and branding opportunities aren't as good in Europe. Greece, Portugal, and Spain are also in poor financial shape, so few roster spots will be available.
Hopefully, this development forces the players back to the bargaining table.
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