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China trying to block Kenyon Martin’s return to NBA

Feb 3, 2012, 10:14 AM EDT

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China does not like to have its power usurped.

Here’s a long story shortened: NBA free agent Kenyon Martin signed in China during the lockout, a deal that said he would stay there that league’s entire season (mid-February to mid-March depending on playoffs). Except he didn’t, he left mid-season unhappy with the situation. His contract said he could not sign with an NBA until the Chinese league season ended, but yesterday we told you that international governing body FIBA overruled China and gave Martin a letter of clearance to return to the NBA now.

Now, China is fighting that FIBA Letter of Clearance, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

China has forwarded an affidavit to FIBA and the NBA – signed by Martin upon his departure in late December – that stipulates he wouldn’t play in the NBA until his Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers’ season had ended. China is demanding the contract be honored and Martin have to wait until the Flying Tigers finish their season…

Chinese Basketball Association officials are insisting the clearance letter request was deliberately sent to their office over the New Year when they wouldn’t be available to respond. After seven days without a response, FIBA’s guidelines allow it to issue the letter of clearance that all international leagues – including the NBA – need to validate that a player has fulfilled contractual obligations elsewhere.

In practical terms, we are talking a couple of weeks here — Martin’s team in China is not expected to make the playoffs, their season ends Feb. 16. The NBA may not want to anger the Chinese government as they are trying to forge a business relationship there.

But Martin, and the teams that are courting him (the Clippers, Heat and Hawks are the leaders) would rather have him now than later. So we will wait to see how FIBA responds.

This case also could impact the cases of J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler and Aaron Brooks, all of whom also are in China but would bolt back to the NBA is a second if they could get out of their deals.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Last time I checked, didn’t China force Yao’s parents to fornicate for the sole purpose of producing an olympic weapon?

    Don’t mess with China, K-mart…they’ll probably send a black-ops ninja into the states to take you out. They crazy like that.

  2. ThatGuy - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    He signed a contract, he should have to honor it if the terms were originally there.

  3. stadix093 - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    All these guys are so dumb for putting themselves in this position. Having said that, China is crazy as hell and I would not want any part of working there. Ever. 31 cents an hour for 16 hour days! I’m Mexican and even I think they work too hard for too little.

  4. southbeachtalent - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I hope they keep this guy in China.. What a moron. I definitely don’t want this douche on the Heat!

    • chrisppers - Feb 4, 2012 at 1:10 AM

      Wow, can you be anymore bitter? Literally less than an hour after the news comes out that he didn’t choose to go to Miami you come out and say this lol

      Stop hating and grow up.

  5. mqcarpenter - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    This is super star pandering. You agreed to the deal. Stick by it and be a man. Play next season. I am tired of all of this

  6. bearsstillsuck - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I believe the heat has the maximum amount of douches the nba allows already, so you don’t have to worry about that.

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