Report: Chinese Basketball Association pushes return date to July

Andrew-Nicholson

Guangzhou Loong-Lions forward Andrew Nicholson holds the ball next to Washington Wizards forward Jemerrio Jones during an exhibition game. (Nick Wass/CP)

The Chinese Basketball Association is reportedly postponing its potential return to play once again, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

The league — which suspended play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with seemingly the rest of the professional sporting world — was set to resume play on April 15. However, per Givony, league officials met recently and decided to postpone their potential return to July at the earliest.

With play suspended since Jan. 24, the CBA’s hopes of an April return were dashed by a March 30 ban on sporting gatherings from the Chinese government, according to ESPN, as well as an entry ban for non-citizens that left several players unable to enter China to play for their teams.

As the CBA is unable to return without government clearance, per Givony, play remains paused and cancelling the 2019-20 season remains on the table.

Other leagues around the world, including the NBA, have been watching the CBA’s situation closely, especially as it seemed the league might be able to return earlier than most. Now, however, it seems to be on somewhat of a similar timeline as the rest of the sporting world, with a return no earlier than July seeming possible.

The NBA’s 2019-20 season has been suspended since March 11 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and figures to remain like so for the foreseeable future with the situation in the United States progressing in a manner that wouldn’t suggest normalcy is returning any time soon.

While a potential return in China has now been pushed back once again, Givony said several player representatives told ESPN that they’ve been informed teams may extend contracts and put players on retainer in preparation for a July return.

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