The Chinese Basketball Association was targeting an April 2nd return, but the government has stepped in and stopped that from moving forward, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The Chinese Government issued a new order today restricting resumption of team sports, a heavy blow for pro basketball to return there soon as was planned. China's attempt to restart sports are being watched closely by leagues across the world. Huge issue is asymptomatic carriers— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) March 31, 2020
Many in the NBA have been looking at China as a test case to see how and when they could begin to resume the 2020 season. But according to Windhorst, resumption there might not happen anytime soon.
The General Administration of Sport, the body that issued the order, gave no timetable on when it plans to lift the new restriction. The CBA had been making plans to split its 20 teams and send them to two cities and have them play each other in empty arenas within a month, a plan the NBA might consider down the line.
CBA teams have been informing players that they still intend to return to play and hope to have more clarity in a few weeks, sources told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
While the spread of the disease has slowed dramatically in China and some aspects of life are headed toward normalcy, sports officials are concerned about asymptomatic carriers, sources said.
Some of the current players in the CBA right now include Ty Lawson, Jeremy Lin, Lance Stephenson, and Allerik Freeman formerly of Baylor and NC State.
It’s another blow for the NBA returning to play anytime soon, as the league continues to tinker with ideas such as playing in Las Vegas without any fans.