March 2020 International Wiretap

Chinese Government Delays Restart Of Chinese Basketball Association

Mar 31, 2020 11:05 AM

The Chinese government has issued an order delaying the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association and other group sporting events.

The CBA has been suspended since January due to COVID-19. Many sports leagues are viewing the CBA as a test case of resuming a league impacted by COVID-19.

CBA teams have been informing players they still intend to finish out the current season and hope to have more clarity in the coming weeks.

The spread of COVID-19 has slowed down dramatically in China.

The CBA planned to house teams in quarantined hotels with multiple temperature checks per day to try to avoid the risk of exposure and spread of the virus.

Jeremy Lin and Lance Stephenson are two of the more prominent American born players in the CBA.


Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Chinese CBA, NBA, International, International League

O.J. Mayo Close To Signing With Liaoning Flying Leopards In Chinese Basketball Association

Mar 29, 2020 1:11 PM

O.J. Mayo is close to signing a contract with Liaoning Flying Leopards in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Mayo landed in China and is in a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Mayo would need to get medical clearance following the quarantine before officially signing with the team.

The guard could potentially join Lance Stephenson and Brandon Bass as the team's foreign imports.

There is no official date for when the CBA will restart. 

Kevin Wang/

Tags: O.J. Mayo, Chinese CBA, International, International League

VTB League Cancels Remainder Of 19-20 Season

Mar 27, 2020 11:11 AM

The VTB League consisting of teams from Russia, Poland, Belarus, Estonia and Kazakhstan has canceled its season.

The VTB League was initially adamant about resuming play on April 10th.

The decision from the Russian government to stop all air travel forced the VTB to make its decision.

The VTB is the first major league in Europe to cancel its season, joining Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Belgium, Bosnia, Cyprus, Ireland, Lithuania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Israel and Greece have left a small window of opportunity open but have all but given up hope of playing any additional games.

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: VTB United League, International, International League

Chinese Basketball Association Postpones Restart From April 15 To May

Mar 25, 2020 11:01 AM

The Chinese Basketball Association has delayed the restart of its season from April 15th to May after failing to receive approval from the government.

Chinese officials were affected by abandoned restarts of leagues in Japan and South Korea and over continued concern over COVID-19 in recent days. The delay of the Olympics also contributed to the decision.

The CBA is now looking at a four-month delay.

Many sports leagues view the CBA situation as a trial balloon for when their leagues can resume.

The NBA is hoping to restart at some point in late May or early June.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Chinese CBA, NBA, International, International League

Korea Basketball League Cancels Remainder Of Season

Mar 24, 2020 1:35 AM

South Korea's basketball league, the KBL, canceled the remainder of their season due to safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The KBL suspended play on February 29th. 

League officials met to discuss whether to restart the league on March 29th, but decided to cancel the season.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyu recently urged for indoor sports facilities to be closed for 15 days.

The next major basketball league scheduled to return is the VTB league, consisting of teams from Russia, Poland, Estonia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The league is set to restart play on April 10th. 

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: VTB United League, International, International League

FIBA To Decide On Future Of Basketball Champions League, Basketball Africa League

Mar 24, 2020 1:24 AM

FIBA said it will make a decision about the future of the Basketball Champions League, Basketball Africa League, and other suspended international competitions soon.

The governing body released a statement saying that "no circumstance should our passion to play basketball surpass the importance of following the instructions of the public authorities."

The Basketball Africa League was set to make its league debut.

FIBA also advocated for postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

"We will not ask our players to go somewhere, where we would not send our own children," added members of the governing body. 


Tags: Basketball Champions League Europe, Basketball Champions League Americas, Basketball Africa League, International, International League

Japanese Basketball Delayed Again After 'Chaotic Weekend' Of Games

Mar 22, 2020 1:08 AM

The Japanese B League, which recently resumed play, announced that it will delay its season until April 1st after what was described as a "chaotic weekend" of games.

The league was suspended from mid-February to mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff Ayres decided to return to the United States after he weary of how the league was handling its return.

"I decided not to practice or play due to concern regarding how the league, and my team specifically, was doing to keep players safe. I felt we were putting ourselves at risk. It was a reckless environment," Ayres told ESPN.

Ayres added that he felt there was outside pressure in restarting the league.

"My team in particular was not taking any of the measures that were recommended, such as taking players' temperatures daily, until it was already too late. The league was pressuring players to play in games due to pressure from sponsors, and my team was being dismissive of our concerns."

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: International

Jeremy Lin, Lance Stephenson Returning To Chinese Basketball Association

Mar 21, 2020 2:01 AM

American players in the Chinese Basketball Association, including Jeremy Lin and Lance Stephenson, are returning to China after the league was suspended for nearly three months.

"It's been an awesome 2 months camped out in the gym ... basketball has never been more meaningful. The world needs basketball now more than ever," Lin wrote on Instagram.

Lin, like all foreign players returning to China, must spend two weeks in quarantine before he can reunite with his teammates.

Lin averaged 24.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the Beijing Ducks.

Stephenson also announced that he will return to the CBA on social media.

The league will resume in mid-April, with all 20 teams set to play in one or two cities, in empty arenas. They will play to a shortened regular season and playoff schedule. 

Kevin Wang/ESPN

Tags: Jeremy Lin, Lance Stephenson, Chinese CBA, International, International League

The Basketball Tournament Still Scheduled To Take Place This Summer

Mar 18, 2020 1:26 AM

The Basketball Tournament is still scheduled to take place in July despite concerns surrounding COVID-19.

“They’re full-steam ahead. It’ll be interesting because I would think that if the TBT dates don’t change at all, they could overlap with the NBA playoffs, NBA Finals, and the Olympics. So there’s going to be a lot of competition on at that time. We’re making plans for our team, we’re making plans for the regional in Syracuse," said Boeheim's Army general manager Kevin Belbey. 

League organizers met on Tuesday morning to discuss potential contingency plans.

Several players from the G League and overseas participate in the $2 million, winner-take-all tournament.

“In some ways, if the curve gets flattened and things quiet down. This could be one of the first sporting events that players are able to participate in. It could be a really good thing," added Belbey.

Donna Ditota/

Tags: D-League, International, D-League B-Ball IQ, International B-Ball IQ

South Korea League Will Resume Games In Late March In Empty Arenas

Mar 17, 2020 4:50 PM

South Korea's KBL have games scheduled beginning at the end of March albeit in empty arena.

Many teams will have their American players returning to South Korea over the next week.

The KBL has been suspended since late February.

South Korea has received praise for its response to COVID-19 with widespread and rapid testing. South Korea also instituted drive-through testing centers. 

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: International

Chinese Basketball Association Expected To Complete Regular Season Behind Closed Doors

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

European Basketball Leagues, Competitions Postpone Play

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Chinese Basketball Association Requests American Players Return To Play

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Start Of Basketball Africa League Postponed Due To Coronavirus