With the NBA back in full swing, many NBA athletes playing in different countries are starting to return to the United States in preparation for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
Many of these athletes had out-clauses (meaning if the NBA started, players have the right to return to the league) stipulated in their contracts, therefore it was very simple for players to leave an international country and return to the United States to play for the NBA.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with China. The Chinese Basketball Association refused to allow these types of negotiations within contracts making it very difficult for athletes, such as J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin to return to America and re-join the NBA.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chinese Basketball Association intends to keep the NBA players in China. If this is true, it will mean that J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, and Wilson Chandler will not be able to leave China until March 2012. These players would miss approximately 85% (nearly 56 out of 66 games) of the NBA season, which would be devastating.
“If they think that they’re going to make things difficult, not play, create problems, what’s going to happen is that the teams will not release their letters of clearance they’ll need to sign in the NBA,” a Chinese Basketball Association official told Yahoo! Sports. “There’s no way out.”
China has also updated their rules and regulations in regards to international contracts.
According to SportingNews, 1) Chinese teams will not be allowed to include out-clauses in contracts with NBA players; and 2) teams will be allowed to sign only one active NBA player.
It’s evident that the Chinese Basketball Association is focused on protecting their organization and in the case of another possible NBA lockout in the future, the CBA has amended the rules and regulations in order to ensure that American athletes do not just leave and return to the U.S. once the lockout is over.
So let’s think about this situation. It would probably be a wise idea for the NBA players to just leave, forget about their contracts in China, and return to the United States. What’s China going to do right? Sadly, this would not even be considered an option due to one main reason.
The NBA is associated with FIBA, which means that the league has to abide by the international contracts signed by NBA players. Athletes and their respective agents were aware of this information.
It’ll be great to see the outcome of this interesting, yet difficult situation. Someway, somehow, something tells me that these NBA athletes will be returning to the NBA before the start of the season.
If not, well… then you can count on the Denver Nuggets not making the playoffs and having a horrible year.
About Blog Surface
If you’re someone with a sports passion or athletic inclination, then subscribe to Blog Surface and join this ever-growing community of the world’s greatest sports fans!