The lockout has indeed put a lot of NBA players in a tough situation when it comes to playing overseas. In an effort to keep their incomes coming in while the season was being negotiated Ballers have signed contracts to play elsewhere. Now that the NBA season is back on, most players are returning to play for the great U.S.of A. Unfortunately for those who have signed a contract with China, they may not get the chance.
The Chinese Basketball Association is showing no inclination to let unhappy NBA players out of their contracts for the 2011-12 season, and will likely mandate they not receive clearance letters to return to the NBA until the Chinese season ends in March, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks are the four top NBA players under contract in China, and several sources involved in those contract entanglements said escape clauses won’t be allowed with the impending end of the NBA lockout.
The Chinese Basketball Association passed a rule that its teams could sign only NBA free agents during the lockout, and it was made clear to those players they would have to play the full season to be given FIBA clearance letters to sign contracts with NBA teams.
Team officials have prepared for the possibility some players could try to force their way out of deals, but their contracts give teams the latitude to fine and suspend players without pay. Chinese teams invested heavily when they signed NBA players, also providing hotel suites, personal drivers and chefs to make the players more comfortable.
“They can play, get paid [in China] and return to the NBA in March,” one Chinese team official said. “Or they can not get paid, and return to the NBA in March.”
See guys, you’ve gotta watch those contracts you’re signing. I don’t blame them for being about their money, but they knew the risk of signing on the dotted line just in case the NBA returned. I say, get paid and come back in March. What do you think they should do?