The Chinese Basketball Association (simplified Chinese: 中国男子篮球职业联赛; traditional Chinese: 中國男子籃球職業聯賽; pinyin: Zhōngguó Nánzǐ Lánqiú Zhíyè Liánsài), often abbreviated as CBA, is the first-tier professional men's basketball league in China. It is widely regarded as the pre-eminent professional men's basketball league in Asia.
The league is commonly known by fans as the CBA, and this acronym is even used in Chinese on a regular basis. The CBA should not be confused with the National Basketball League (NBL), which is a professional minor league. There is also a Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA).
A few Chinese players who competed in the CBA in the early stages of their careers — including Wang Zhizhi, Mengke Bateer, Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue, and Zhou Qi — have also played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Others such as Xue Yuyang and Wang Zhelin were drafted into the NBA but did not, or have yet to, see regular season action on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Only a limited number of foreign players are allowed on each CBA team. Notable imports include former NBA All-Stars Stephon Marbury, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, Steve Francis, and Metta World Peace — as well as several NBA veterans who would become CBA All-Stars — Michael Beasley, Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette, Al Harrington, Lester Hudson, Kenyon Martin, Randolph Morris, Shavlik Randolph, and J.R. Smith.
The CBA began play in the 1995–96 season. The league should not be confused with the Chinese Basketball Association (organisation), which was founded in June 1956 and represents the country in matters involving the sport's governing body, FIBA. Basketball in China is currently regulated by the Chinese Basketball Management Center.
Other Chinese basketball leagues include the National Basketball League (NBL), the Chinese University Basketball Association (CUBA), and the Chinese High School Basketball League (CHBL). At one time there was a league called the Chinese New Basketball Alliance (CNBA), one of whose most prominent teams was the Beijing Sea Lions, but this venture lasted for just one winter (1996–97).
The first non-Chinese player to compete in the CBA was Mihail Savinkov of Uzbekistan, who joined the Zhejiang Squirrels in the league's inaugural 1995–96 campaign. During the 1996–97 season, James Hodges became one of the first Americans to play in the CBA, and his signing by the Liaoning Hunters helped pave the way for many more imports from the United States to follow in the ensuing years.
Some other notable foreign pioneers included John Spencer, who joined the Jiangsu Dragons later in the 1996–97 campaign, and David Vanterpool, who inked a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers the following winter, and helped the team move up to the CBA in time for the 1998–99 season. The CBA's first international coach was American Robert Hoggard, who led the Sichuan Pandas for the last eight games of the 1997–98 campaign.
For a full list of teams, see Category:Chinese Basketball Association teams.
The full name of each team usually consists of three parts, in the following order:
The presence of corporate sponsor names can occasionally lead to confusion about what name to use in English because many variants may be seen. Team names are usually abbreviated (in Chinese or English), so that either the corporate sponsor name or the nickname is used interchangeably (rarely both). In addition, team nicknames can sometimes be translated into English in more than one way, and corporate sponsors tend to change frequently over time.
Nickname changes are rare, but occasionally happen, such as when the Shandong team switched from Flaming Bulls (1995) to Lions (2003) to Gold Lions (2004) to Golden Stars (2014). Other examples include the Liaoning team dumping Hunters (1995) for Dinosaurs (2008) and then Flying Leopards (2011) -- as well as the Foshan team's evolving attempts to "Anglicize" its nickname—by going from Kylins (2001) to Dralions to Long-Lions
In previous years, the title of the league itself was available for corporate naming sponsorship. In 1999–2000 and 2000–2001 it was known as the Hilton League, in 2001–2002 and 2002–2003 it was the Motorola League, and in 2003–2004 it was sponsored by China Unicom. These corporate league titles were not always used in the news media, however, and this sponsorship practice was discontinued at the start of the 2004–2005 season.
While teams are listed by division here, the CBA does not use these designations for regular season scheduling anymore, as each squad now plays each other once at home and once on the road. Divisions are used for the league's annual All-Star Game, however, and are shown here for the sake of convenience.
|Beijing Enterprises Water Group Fly Dragons||Beijing||Beijing National Indoor Stadium|| Ding Wei
/ Dragan Raca (General Supervisor)
|Beijing Shougang Ducks||Beijing||Cadillac Arena|| Yannis Christopoulos
Min Lulei (General Coach)
|Jilin GBT Northeast Tigers||Changchun, Jilin
Jilin City, Jilin
Jilin City Arena
|Liaoning Scale Industry Flying Leopards||Benxi, Liaoning||Benxi Gymnasium|| Guo Shiqiang
Joaquín Ruiz Lorente (Technical Consultant)
|Qingdao Double Star Eagles||Qingdao, Shandong||Guoxin Gymnasium||Gong Xiaobin|
|Shandong High Speed Golden Stars||Jinan, Shandong||Shandong Arena||Aleksandar Kesar|
|Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons||Taiyuan, Shanxi||Riverside Sports Arena||Yang Wenhai|
|Sichuan Jinqiang Pinsheng Blue Whales||Chengdu, Sichuan||Sichuan Provincial Stadium||Yang Xuezeng|
|Tianjin Ronggang Gold Lions||Tianjin||Tianjin Arena||Xu Guijun|
|Xinjiang Tianshan R-C Bank Flying Tigers||Ürümqi, Xinjiang||Hongshan Arena|| Li Qiuping
Igors Miglinieks (Technical Consultant)
|Bayi Fubang Rockets||Ningbo, Zhejiang||Youngor Arena||Chang Bin Adiljan|
|Fujian SBS Sturgeons||Jinjiang, Quanzhou, Fujian||Zuchang Gymnasium||Fan Bin|
|Guangdong Hongyuan Dongguan Bank Southern Tigers||Dongguan, Guangdong||Dongguan Arena||Jonas Kazlauskas|
|Guangzhou Securities Long-Lions||Guangzhou, Guangdong||Tianhe Gymnasium||Cui Wanjun|
|Jiangsu Kentier Dragons||Suzhou, Jiangsu
|Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Center
Suzhou Sports Center Gymnasium
Changzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium
|Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings||Nanjing, Jiangsu||Jiangning Sports Center Gymnasium
Youth Olympic Games Sport Park Gymnasium
| Yang Zhong
Hu Weidong (Special Advisor)
|Shanghai Bilibili Sharks||Shanghai||Shanghai Indoor Stadium|| Liu Peng
Brian Goorjian (Special Advisor)
|Shenzhen New Century Leopards||Shenzhen, Guangdong||Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre||Wu Qinglong|
|Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls||Yiwu, Jinhua, Zhejiang||Yiwu Meihu Sports Centre|| Liu Weiwei
Jiang Xingquan (Technical Consultant)
|Zhejiang Guangsha Lions||Hangzhou, Zhejiang||Hangzhou Gymnasium||Li Chunjiang|
This is a chronological listing of current and former CBA teams according to the season that they entered the league.
Current Teams Defunct Teams
In 2005, the league unveiled the Mou Zuoyun Cup (simplified Chinese: 牟作云杯; traditional Chinese: 牟作雲杯; pinyin: Móu Zuòyún Bēi), which was awarded for the first time to the winning team in the CBA Finals. Mou Zuoyun (born 1913) was a member of the Chinese men's national basketball team which competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics, and he later served as a coach and a pioneer in building Chinese basketball.
|1995–96||Bayi Rockets||2 – 0||Guangdong Southern Tigers||Home/Away format used for 2 seasons|
|1996–97||Bayi Rockets||2 – 0||Liaoning Hunters|
|1997–98||Bayi Rockets||3 – 0||Liaoning Hunters||Best-of-Five series used for 8 seasons|
|1998–99||Bayi Rockets||3 – 0||Liaoning Hunters|
|1999–00||Bayi Rockets||3 – 0||Shanghai Sharks||Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)|
|2000–01||Bayi Rockets||3 – 1||Shanghai Sharks||Liu Yudong (Bayi)|
|2001–02||Shanghai Sharks||3 – 1||Bayi Rockets||Yao Ming (Shanghai)|
|2002–03||Bayi Rockets||3 – 1||Guangdong Southern Tigers||Liu Yudong (Bayi)|
|2003–04||Guangdong Southern Tigers||3 – 1||Bayi Rockets||Du Feng (Guangdong)|
|2004–05||Guangdong Southern Tigers||3 – 2||Jiangsu Dragons||Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)|
|2005–06||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 1||Bayi Rockets||Yi Jianlian (Guangdong)||Best-of-Seven series used since 2005–06|
|2006–07||Bayi Rockets||4 – 1||Guangdong Southern Tigers||Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)|
|2007–08||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 1||Liaoning Hunters||Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)|
|2008–09||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 1||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)|
|2009–10||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 1||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)|
|2010–11||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 2||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||Wang Shipeng (Guangdong)|
|2011–12||Beijing Ducks||4 – 1||Guangdong Southern Tigers||Lee Hsueh-lin (Beijing)|
|2012–13||Guangdong Southern Tigers||4 – 0||Shandong Gold Lions||Yi Jianlian (Guangdong)|
|2013–14||Beijing Ducks||4 – 2||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||Randolph Morris (Beijing)|
|2014–15||Beijing Ducks||4 – 2||Liaoning Flying Leopards||Stephon Marbury (Beijing)|
|2015–16||Sichuan Blue Whales||4 – 1||Liaoning Flying Leopards||Hamed Haddadi (Sichuan)|
|2016–17||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||4 – 0||Guangdong Southern Tigers||Darius Adams (Xinjiang)|
This is a list of teams which have advanced to the CBA Finals and the overall win-loss records they have compiled in the Championship Series.
|13||Guangdong Southern Tigers||8||5||.615||Made every Finals from 2002–03 to 2012–13|
|11||Bayi Rockets||8||3||.727||Made every Finals from 1995–96 to 2003–04|
|5||Xinjiang Flying Tigers||1||4||.200|
|1||Sichuan Blue Whales||1||0||1.000|
|6||Liaoning Flying Leopards||0||6||.000|
|1||Shandong Golden Stars||0||1||.000|
The CBA Most Valuable Player is awarded to the best player in a given CBA season. The award is handed out two times: one for the Chinese MVP and one for a foreign MVP. As well, each year the CBA Finals MVP award is handed out to the best player in a given CBA Finals series.
|Points ||11,287||Zhu Fangyu|
|Three-pointers ||1,621||Zhu Fangyu|
|Points ||82||Errick McCollum||2015 January 30|
|Rebounds||38||Garth Joseph||2002 March 20|
|Assists||28||Li Qun||2000 February 02|
|Steals||13||Ju Weisong||1995–96 season|
|Zhang Yongjun||1996–97 season|
|Hu Xuefeng||2004 December 01|
|Blocks ||13||Yao Ming||2000–01 season|
|Hervé Lamizana||2010 February 10|
|Sean Williams||2010 February 26|
|Three-pointers ||15||Leon Rodgers||2009 March 11|
|Dunks||10||James Hodges||1998–99 season|
|Minutes||67||Samad Nikkhah Bahrami||2014 February 09|
Listed below are some of the most accomplished Chinese players who have competed in the CBA.
|Name||CBA Team (Years)||NBA Team (Years)|
|Mengke Bateer||Beijing Ducks (1997–2006, 2013–2014)
Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2007–2013)
|Denver Nuggets (2002)
San Antonio Spurs (2002–2003)
Toronto Raptors (2003–2004)
|Sun Yue||Beijing Olympians (2002–2004)
Beijing Ducks (2013–2017)
|Los Angeles Lakers (2008–2009)|
|Wang Zhizhi||Bayi Rockets (1995–2001, 2006–2015)||Dallas Mavericks (2001–2002)
Los Angeles Clippers (2002–2003)
Miami Heat (2003–2005)
|Yao Ming||Shanghai Sharks (1997–2002)||Houston Rockets (2002–2011)|
|Yi Jianlin||Guangdong Southern Tigers (2002–2007, 2011–present)||Milwaukee Bucks (2007–2008)
New Jersey Nets (2008–2010)
Washington Wizards (2010–2011)
Dallas Mavericks (2012)
|Zhou Qi||Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2014–2017)||Houston Rockets (2017–present)|
|Name||CBA Team (Years)||Drafted|
|Wang Zhelin||Fujian Sturgeons (2012–2017)||2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57th overall
Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies
|Xue Yuyang||Jilin Northeast Tigers (2001–2003)
Hong Kong Flying Dragons (2003)
Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2003–2011)
Qingdao Eagles (2011–2014)
|2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57th overall
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks
Listed below are some of the most accomplished foreign players who have competed in the CBA.