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Report: The Chinese Basketball Association Opted To Postpone Its Return ‘Until At Least July’

A new report by Jonathan Givony of ESPN indicates that the highly-anticipated return of the Chinese Basketball Association will once again get pushed back. The league has not played games since January as part of China’s efforts to rein in the spread of the novel coronavirus, and basketball leagues worldwide have looked to the CBA as something of a test balloon for how and when it will be safe to re-launch a league on hiatus.

Its first attempt at getting back on the floor was supposed to occur on April 15, but that had to be pushed back to May 11 for a handful of reasons. Now, Givony brings word that a May 11 return won’t happen, either, and the CBA isn’t expected to be able to take the floor until potentially sometime in July. This comes after a call league officials reportedly held on Monday evening concluded with another suspension.


Further complicating matters is the entry ban that was implemented by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in late March on all non-citizens, including residents and foreigners with previously issued visas. Several players were unable to enter China, leaving many CBA rosters without one or both of the allotted import players.

No final decision on the CBA’s season can be made without government clearance, which won’t happen until mid-May at the earliest, sources told ESPN. The possibility of canceling the remainder of the season is still in play.

A handful of Americans — like Ty Lawson, Jeremy Lin, and Lance Stephenson — all play in the CBA. Givony mentioned that both the NBA and EuroLeague are “closely” monitoring the CBA for how its relaunch will go, although there is no word on whether or not those leagues’ returns will be held off until they get the opportunity to analyze any sort of restart in China.