Ex-NBA star Jeremy Lin to play in China again as CBA confirms foreigner rules for new season
- Lin rejoined the Beijing Ducks earlier this year with no confirmation that foreign players would be allowed to feature
- Teams can play four overseas players per game in reduced season, with further limits against all-Chinese line-ups
The subject had been one of contention between teams with star foreigners and those who had chosen to cut them loose amid Covid-19 financial difficulties.
Lin had rejoined the Beijing Ducks, the team he played for during the coronavirus-impacted 2019-20 season, with no confirmation on whether overseas players would be allowed to play in the CBA in the coming campaign.
The former “Linsanity” star had left the Chinese capital after taking the Ducks to the play-offs, where they reached the semi-finals.
Lin, 32, headed back to the US to take one last shot at his NBA dream but was unable to find a contract for the 2020-21 season, despite impressing in the NBA G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors. He then re-signed with the Ducks in June.
It was uncertain whether Lin and the CBA’s other foreign players would be allowed to play or if the league would be limited to Chinese nationals.
Lin admitted in social media posts this month that he did not know if he would be able to play this season.
“I still don’t know if CBA will have foreign aid this season,” Lin wrote on his Weibo account.
“If so, I will try my best to play in front of the fans. If not, it doesn’t matter. As long as the decision is beneficial to Chinese basketball, I will support it.”
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Now the CBA have confirmed the new policy for the season, which is set to start on the weekend of October 16.
Teams will be permitted to sign four foreign players and use them across the four quarters of each game, but they are limited to playing one overseas player in the fourth quarter.
If teams with foreigners play teams that have an all-Chinese line-up, then they are only allowed to play two foreigners across four quarters total, with no foreigners allowed in the final quarter.
Those teams that do not already have their foreign players in China might not be able to play them in the first stage of the season as new arrivals will be subject to the country’s strict quarantine regulations.
Lin arrived in China in August and tested positive for Covid-19 after landing from San Francisco. The 32-year-old was treated in a Shanghai hospital before finishing his hotel quarantine.
Given the short lead-up time to the new season, teams will play warm-up games once they enter the bubble. Teams are expected to arrive in the competition bubble on the weekend of October 9 and 10.
Former NBA star Jeremy Lin formally joins Beijing Shougang Ducks in Chinese Basketball Association
The season will be reduced to 38 rounds rather than the 56 rounds of the past two seasons, the CBA confirmed, and held in three stages.
Zhuji in Zhejiang province will be the host city for the first stage, with the two hosts for the second stage to be announced at a later date.
Reports suggest that the third stage will see a return to the CBA’s traditional home and away system, which has not been used since 2019 before the pandemic took hold.
The season will be disrupted by 40-day and 50-day breaks for the Chinese national team to focus on their international commitments, including the FIBA World Cup.