When the NBA lockout didn't appear to have an end in sight, numerous NBA players decided to leave the U.S. and pursue career opportunities throughout the world, in places like Italy, Russia and China. But the Chinese league established a policy stating that American players under contract in China couldn't return to the NBA at the end of the lockout without completing the season in China first.
This has apparently created a conflict for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, the employers of former Denver Nuggets player Kenyon Martin. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Chinese team is trying to release Martin from his current contract in an attempt to shake up its roster, but the league has threatened to punish the team if it does release Martin.
Stein adds that Martin wouldn't be able to sign with an NBA team regardless of whether Xinjiang releases him without receiving a FIBA letter of clearance from the Chinese team, so Martin's clearly being put in a tough position here. The NBA season starts in just a few days, so it'll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds.
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