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The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA; ) is the premier professional basketball league in Chinamarker. It is commonly known as the CBA, and this acronym is often used even in Chinese. There is also a WCBA for women.

The CBA should also not be confused with the National Basketball League , which is a semi-professional "Division 2" minor league.

A few CBA players, such as Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue and Mengke Bateer, have reached the NBA. Conversely, a limited number of foreign players (外援) are allowed for each CBA team.


The league began play in 1995. However, the CBA as the name of a league should not be confused with the "Chinese Basketball Association" organization, which was founded in June 1956 [83871]. 1996 James Hodges was one of the first Americans to play in this League. Today, the regulating body for basketball in the People's Republic of China is the Chinese Basketball Management Center (国家体育总局篮球管理中心 or 体总篮球管理中心 or 篮管中心) or CBMC.

Other Chinese basketball leagues include the Chinese University Basketball Association (CUBA) and the Chinese High School Basketball League (CHBL) [83872]. At one time there was a league called the CNBA, one of whose teams was the Beijing Sea Lions (北京海狮), but it lasted only one season. [83873]

Team Names

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.

This can sometimes 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). Also, the nickname can sometimes be translated into English in more than one way; also the corporate sponsor name can change frequently over time.

It is not uncommon for a team to move to a new arena or a new city within the province of its name; however this does not affect the name.

Changes in nickname are rare, but occasionally happen, as when the Shandong team changed their nickname from the "Flaming Bulls" to the "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" (希尔顿中国男篮甲A联赛), in 2001–2002 and 2002–2003 it was the "Motorola League" (摩托罗拉中国男子篮球甲A联赛), and in 2003–2004 it was sponsored by China Unicom (联通新时空中国男子篮球甲A联赛). However, this corporate league title was not always used in the news media, and this sponsorship practice was discontinued at the start of the 2004–2005 season. [83874]

2008-09 Teams

North Division

South Division


In 2005, the league unveiled the "Mou Zuoyun Cup" (牟作云杯), which was awarded for the first time to the winning team in the finals. Mou Zuoyun (born 1913) was a member of the Chinese basketball team at the 1936 Summer Olympics, and later served as a coach and a pioneer in building Chinese basketball. [83875]

Year Champion Result Runners-up -
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
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

CBA Finals Appearances

Num Team W L PCT Notes
11 Bayi Rockets 8 3 .727 Made every final except for 2004-05, 2007-08, and 2008-09.
8 Guangdong Southern Tigers 5 3 .625 Made every final from 2002-03 to 2008-09.
3 Shanghai Sharks 1 2 .333
4 Liaoning Hunters 0 4 .000
1 Jiangsu Dragons 0 1 .000
1 Xinjiang Flying Tigers 0 1 .000







Imports that lasted more than one season in the CBA:

See also

External links

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