NBA Players Under Contract Barred From Playing in Chinese League

Published: August 19, 2011

It’s being reported that the Chinese Basketball Association will not offer deals to any player currently under contract with the NBA, but will remain in the hunt for NBA free agents provided they want to spend a year in China. The Xinhua News Agency went on to say that contracts for free agents would be designed to discourage players from returning to the US mid-season to play in the NBA, or for difficult to verify reasons such as suspect injuries.

The decision by the Chinese league is an obvious setback to the Players Association who had hoped to display the ability of it’s members to command large paychecks in leagues worldwide. It was a rumored destination for Kobe, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and a number of other high profile players. The league’s decision to ban players currently under contract from competing severely limits the ability of players, even big names, to get paid as the lockout persists.

As it is now the players have yet to prove that they can get a deal anywhere near as good as the “unacceptable” deal that the NBA has offered them, and their prospects only seem to be dwindling. Apparently leagues around the world also find it absurd to pay out 57% over their revenue to less than 10% of their employees, while also paying huge fixed costs associated with operating an expansive business. FYI- a one night road trip in the NBA costs roughly 30-40k dollars.

Even if superstars had signed in China and agreed to stay for an entire year, their compensation would not be in line with what the owners have offered in a new CBA. For role players, it would be only a small fraction.

This should probably go without saying at this point, but settle before you lose your shirts, players. Get the best deal you can and start the season on time. Anything else is a net loss for you and your family financially. The only people on the players’ side who stand to gain anything financially with a hard-line, take a year off stance, are the agents and their your representatives. You personally will never get the money you leave on the table back.

It’s time to acknowledge reality and get the ball rolling for the 2011-2012 NBA season.

Note: There is another article up that says that the league will talk about this issue today. I believe the Xinhua News Agency in this case. I’ve never known them to be wrong before…


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