While things are going completely crazy in the NBA with the coronavirus, back in China the CBA is requesting American players to return to the Asian country so they can finish the season.
According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Chinese Basketball Association has informed American players they should return to China as soon as this weekend as the league is planning to return to action in early April after they postponed the season back in January due to the coronavirus outbreak. Among these players, we can find Lance Stephenson and Jeremy Lin.
In a translated memo that was sent to teams in the CBA, the league said, via CBS Sports:
“In January 2020, the new coronavirus broke out in many places across the country. According to the requirements of national epidemic prevention and control, we postponed the subsequent games of the 2019-2020 CBA season scheduled to be held on February 1. At present, the situation of epidemic prevention and control in CBA cities is basically stable. In order to better respond to the national requirements on precise prevention and control, solid and orderly promotion of return to work and production, shoulder the mission and task of sports confidence, warm people’s hearts and gather people’s hearts, according to the relevant requirements of China Basketball Association on the restart of the league, the rest of the games of the 2019-2020 CBA season will restart from the beginning of April.”
“All clubs and teams are requested to prepare for the restart of CBA League as early as April 2. At the same time, all teams should comply with the relevant requirements of the national and local epidemic prevention and control departments, continue to strengthen the epidemic prevention and control work, do a good job in making detailed and solid security measures such as epidemic prevention and control, and ensure the health and safety of club and team members. Details of the restart will be notified separately.”
Despite this being an official pandemic, the CBA is demanding players to return to China to get ready to finish the season. Otherwise, they would face lifetime bans. This is a very sensitive situation and a lot of people would show his disagreement with the way things could be done in China regarding their players.