The Chinese Basketball Association is reportedly calling back American players after issuing a statement that the league intends to resume play as early as April 2 in light of the improving coronavirus situation.
In a memo obtained by ESPN, the CBA announced plans to start the season back up, adding that 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,” a translation of the statement read.
According to the report, around 40 players are under contract with the league’s 20 teams.
This includes former NBA players Jeremy Lin, Ty Lawson and Lance Stephenson. Sources told ESPN that at least half of the American players did not intent to board a plane to China in the near future.
The memo stated that the players would be “requested” to comply with the April 2 start date, although it wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to those who decline to.
Sources told ESPN that if and when the players do arrive, they will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine.
In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed, but more than 60,000 already have recovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.