Chinese Basketball Association

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For the national basketball association of China, see Chinese Basketball Association (organisation). For the former American professional men's basketball minor league, see Continental Basketball Association. For other uses, see CBA.
Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2015–16 CBA season
CBA new logo sm.jpg
Sport Basketball
Founded 1995
Inaugural season 1995–96
Claim to fame "The pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in Asia"
No. of teams 20
Country  China
Continent FIBA Asia (Asia)
Most recent champion(s) Beijing Ducks (3rd title)
Most titles Bayi Rockets
Guangdong Southern Tigers
(8 titles each)
Level on pyramid 1
Official website CBA
Chinese Basketball Association
Traditional Chinese 中國男子籃球職業聯賽
Simplified Chinese 中国男子篮球职业联赛

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 regarded by a number of pundits and fans as the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in Asia.

The league is commonly known as the CBA, and this acronym is even used in Chinese on a regular basis. There is also a Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). The CBA should not be confused with the National Basketball League (NBL), which is a professional "Division 2" minor league.

A few Chinese players who competed in the CBA in the early stages of their careers—including Wang Zhizhi, Yao Ming, Mengke Bateer, Yi Jianlian, and Sun Yue—have also played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Conversely, a limited number of foreign players are allowed for each CBA team.

Notable imports include former NBA All-Stars Gilbert Arenas, Steve Francis, Al Harrington, Stephon Marbury, Tracy McGrady, and Metta World Peace—as well as several NBA players who went on to become CBA All-Stars -- Michael Beasley, Aaron Brooks, Lester Hudson, Kenyon Martin, Shavlik Randolph, and J.R. Smith.

In addition, Congolese-American Emmanuel Mudiay was selected in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, which made him the first non-Chinese player to be drafted into the NBA directly from the CBA.


The CBA began play in the 1995–96 season. This league should not be confused with the Chinese Basketball Association (organization), which was founded in June 1956 [1] and represents the country in matters involving the sport's governing body, FIBA. Today, the regulating body for basketball in China is the Chinese Basketball Management Center (simplified Chinese: 国家体育总局篮球管理中心; traditional Chinese: 國家體育總局籃球管理中心; pinyin: Guójiā Tǐyù Zǒngjú Lánqiú Guǎnlǐ Zhōngxīn).

Other Chinese basketball leagues include the National Basketball League (NBL), the Chinese University Basketball Association (CUBA), and the Chinese High School Basketball League (CHBL) [2]. At one time there was a league called the Chinese New Basketball Alliance (CNBA) [3], one of whose most prominent teams was the Beijing Sea Lions, but this venture lasted just one season (1996–97) [4].

In 1996, 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 to follow in the ensuing years. Other notable foreign pioneers included John Spencer, who joined the Jiangsu Dragons later in the 1996–97 season, and David Vanterpool, who inked a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers the following winter.

Team names[edit]

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:

  1. A geographic designation (except in the case of the Bayi or "August First" team). Currently all of these are province-level designations (either a province or a Chinese municipality).
  2. A corporate sponsor name. This sponsor may change from year to year, or perhaps even in mid-season.
  3. A nickname, such as the name of an animal. This rarely changes.

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 (2010) to Long-Lions (2014).

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. [5]

Current clubs[edit]


Jiangsu Monkey King Beikong Fly Dragons Sichuan Blue Whales Tianjin Ronggang Qingdao DoubleStar Zhejiang Lions Shenzhen Leopards Shanxi Zhongyu Fujian Sturgeons Xinjiang Flying Tigers Hong Kong Flying Dragons Pure-Youth Construction Basketball Team Shenzhen Yikang Foshan Dralions Jilin Northeast Tigers Beijing Olympians Shanghai Sharks Zhejiang Golden Bulls Shandong Golden Stars Liaoning Flying Leopards Jiangsu Dragons Guangdong Southern Tigers Beijing Ducks Bayi Rockets

Current Teams Defunct Teams

CBA Championship Series[edit]

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.[6]

Season Champions Result Runners-up Notes
1995–96 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Guangdong Southern Tigers Best-of-Five series used for 10 years
1996–97 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Liaoning Hunters
1997–98 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Liaoning Hunters
1998–99 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Liaoning Hunters
1999–00 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Shanghai Sharks
2000–01 Bayi Rockets 3 – 1 Shanghai Sharks
2001–02 Shanghai Sharks 3 – 1 Bayi Rockets
2002–03 Bayi Rockets 3 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers
2003–04 Guangdong Southern Tigers 3 – 1 Bayi Rockets
2004–05 Guangdong Southern Tigers 3 – 2 Jiangsu Dragons
2005–06 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Bayi Rockets Best-of-Seven series used since 2006
2006–07 Bayi Rockets 4 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers
2007–08 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Liaoning Hunters
2008–09 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Xinjiang Flying Tigers
2009–10 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Xinjiang Flying Tigers
2010–11 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 2 Xinjiang Flying Tigers
2011–12 Beijing Ducks 4 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers
2012–13 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 0 Shandong Gold Lions
2013–14 Beijing Ducks 4 – 2 Xinjiang Flying Tigers
2014–15 Beijing Ducks 4 – 2 Liaoning Flying Leopards

CBA Finals Appearances[edit]

Num. Team W L Pct. Notes
12 Guangdong Southern Tigers 8 4 .667 Made every final from 2002-03 to 2012-13
11 Bayi Rockets 8 3 .727 Made every final from 1995-96 to 2003-04
3 Beijing Ducks 3 0 1.000
3 Shanghai Sharks 1 2 .333
5 Liaoning Flying Leopards 0 5 .000
4 Xinjiang Flying Tigers 0 4 .000
1 Jiangsu Dragons 0 1 .000
1 Shandong Golden Stars 0 1 .000

Records, Individual[edit]

Single Game[edit]

Record Num. Player Team Game Date
Errick McCollum
Zhejiang Golden Bulls
Zhejiang Golden Bulls 119–129 Guangdong Southern Tigers
2015 January 30
Quincy Douby
Zhejiang Golden Bulls
Zhejiang Golden Bulls 154–129 Shanxi Brave Dragons
2013 January 2
Bobby Brown
Dongguan Leopards
Dongguan Leopards 137–135 (2OT) Sichuan Blue Whales
2013 December 27
Jordan Crawford
Tianjin Gold Lions
Tianjin Gold Lions 104–113 Sichuan Blue Whales
2016 January 8
Andre Emmett
Shandong Gold Lions
Jiangsu Dragons 113–129 Shandong Gold Lions
2010 March 7
Garth Joseph
Shaanxi Kylins
Shaanxi Kylins 139–88 Shenzhen Yikang
2002 March 20
Li Qun
Guangdong Southern Tigers
Guangdong Southern Tigers 110–101 Nanjing Army
2000 February 2
Ju Weisong
Shandong Flaming Bulls
Shandong Flaming Bulls 84–70 Vanguard / Police
1995-96 Season
Zhang Yongjun
Guangdong Southern Tigers
Bayi Rockets 109–81 Guangdong Southern Tigers
1996-97 Season
Hu Xuefeng
Jiangsu Dragons
Jiangsu Dragons 135–108 Jilin Northeast Tigers
2004 December 1
Yao Ming
Shanghai Sharks
Jilin Northeast Tigers 126–118 Shanghai Sharks
2000-01 Season
Herve Lamizana
Tianjin Gold Lions
Tianjin Gold Lions 113–108 Fujian Sturgeons
2010 February 10
Sean Williams
Fujian Sturgeons
Fujian Sturgeons 101–94 Jilin Northeast Tigers
2010 February 26
Minutes Played
Samad Nikkhah Bahrami
Fujian Sturgeons
Fujian Sturgeons 178–177 Zhejiang Golden Bulls
2014 February 9
3-Pointers Made
Leon Rodgers
Jilin Northeast Tigers
Jilin Northeast Tigers 124–110 Shanxi Brave Dragons
2009 March 11
Dunks Made
James Hodges
Liaoning Hunters
Liaoning Hunters 95–85 Shandong Flaming Bulls
1998-99 Season
Free Throws Made
Personal Fouls
Multiple Record Holders
Multiple Teams
Multiple Games
Multiple Seasons

Single Season[edit]

Record Num. Player Team Season
Anthony Myles
Dongguan Leopards
Olumide Oyedeji
Beijing Ducks
Hu Xuefeng
Jiangsu Dragons
Hu Xuefeng
Jiangsu Dragons
Yao Ming
Shanghai Sharks
Minutes Played
3-Pointers Made
Yu Junkai
Yunnan Bulls
Dunks Made
Lorenzo Coleman
Xinjiang Flying Tigers
Free Throws Made
Personal Fouls


Some statistics updated to the end of the 2010-11 season. Others to the end of the 2014-15 season.
Record Num. Player
Zhu Fangyu
Wang Zhizhi
Liu Wei
Liu Yudong
Mengke Bateer
Hu Xuefeng
Hu Xuefeng
Wang Zhizhi
Minutes Played
3-Pointers Made
Li Nan
Dunks Made
Jason Dixon
Free Throws Made
Personal Fouls

Records, Team[edit]

Single Game[edit]

  • Longest game
  • Most points in a game
  • 178 by Fujian Sturgeons (vs. 177 by Zhejiang Golden Bulls on 2014 February 09 in 5 overtimes).
  • Most combined points in a game
  • 355 - Fujian Sturgeons (178) vs. Zhejiang Golden Bulls (177) on 2014 February 09 in 5 overtimes.

Single Season[edit]

  • Most Victories (Regular Season Only)
  • Most Consecutive Victories (Regular Season Only)
  • Best Winning Percentage (Regular Season Only)

Chinese Stars[edit]

Domestic players from the CBA who are renowned for crossing over to the NBA[edit]

Domestic players from the CBA who are known for league or international exploits[edit]

Foreign Imports[edit]

Non-Chinese players who spent more than one season in the CBA[edit]

High-profile foreigners who spent just one season in the CBA[edit]

  • Oden

See also[edit]

External links[edit]