No China for players under contract

BEIJING -- The Chinese Basketball Association will restrict contracted NBA players from playing for domestic teams in the event the NBA season is canceled, but still will allow free agents, state media reported Friday.

The CBA would bar players under contract such as Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

They and others had expressed interest in playing in China if the NBA lockout drags on and results in the cancellation of all or part of the 2011-12 season.

The CBA said it will welcome free-agent NBA players, but will require them to play an entire season in China, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xinhua said more restrictions would be announced before the start of the Chinese season on Nov. 20.

It reported contracts would be designed to discourage players from ducking out for dubious reasons, such as suspect injuries or unverified family problems at home.

CBA officials could not be reached immediately for comment.