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Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming steps down as head of the national league

Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming steps down as head of the national league

Since his appointment in 2017, Yao has led attempts to commercialize the top-tier 20-team Chinese Basketball Association Management Company.

Yao Ming, a former Houston Rockets player, has stepped down as president of China’s floundering national basketball league.

Since his appointment in 2017, Yao, an eight-time NBA All-Star, has led attempts to commercialize the top-tier 20-team Chinese Basketball Association Management Company.

Yao was recognized for his service in a notice on the CBA’s website. It provided no explanation for Yao’s departure other than that the board of directors had decided it was time for new leadership.

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Corruption allegations have beset the league in recent years. The Jiangsu Dragons and Shanghai Sharks were booted from the league finals last month after being deemed to have engaged in unsporting behavior after a series of turnovers ending in the Sharks’ come-from-behind victory.

The results was deemed suspect, prompting an investigation and fines for both teams. Each team’s managers and coaching staff have been barred from the league for up to five years.

China’s basketball and football leagues have attracted foreign talent and commercial endorsements, but they are hampered by murky ownership lineups and government involvement. Some officials have been investigated for bribery and other forms of corruption.

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February 2024
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