Marbury cherishes opportunity of playing CBA amid COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 16, 2020
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Beijing Royal Fighters' coach Stephon Marbury instructs his team during a China Basketball Association regular season match against Beijing Ducks in Beijing Nov 20, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

CBA franchise Beijing Royal Fighters head coach Stephon Marbury published an article on his social media, giving credit to China's basketball league on Saturday to sum the first phase of the league.

The former NBA All-Star said he felt blessed to play basketball in China while the COVID-19 was wreaking over the world.

"This month has been a long time for CBA players. I would like to pay tribute to all the players. They had a game every other day, and they had been preparing for the next game at any time while training. This fully demonstrates how much effort they put into the sport they love," Marbury said.

The 2020-21 CBA season has 560-game in the regular season, the most in the history. In the past month, each team had played no less than ten games.

Marbury said that he was very thankful that none of the teams had suffered serious injuries or illnesses during such a tough schedule.

"When I learned that the schedule in December will be tougher, I respect these players more," said Marbury.

As the epidemic is gradually under control, foreign players will participate in the second phase. The CBA sets out new regulations on foreign players, and those complex rules will undoubtedly bring great changes to each team's strength.

Although foreign players' overall time on court has been reduced, the new rules provide coaches with more room for adjustment on them.

At the same time, the new season will set up two window periods from November 26 to December 4, 2020 and February 18 to 26, 2021. Teams can trade registered players and claim free players during the transfer window.

The CBA League allowed players' turnover in the middle of the season for the first time, which will add more uncertainty to the following games.

"As a former player and an active coach, I have never forgotten the challenge of the game, but at the same time, being able to continue playing under the epidemic is also a reward," Marbury said. 

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