Chinese Basketball Association

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 2016–17 CBA season
Sport Basketball
Founded 1995
Inaugural season 1995–96
No. of teams 20
Country  China
Continent FIBA Asia (Asia)
Most recent
Sichuan Blue Whales
(1st 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 by fans 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 (China) (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, Mengke Bateer, Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, and Sun Yue — have also played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A handful of others — Xue Yuyang, Zhou Qi, and Wang Zhelin — were drafted into the NBA but did not, or have yet to, see regular season action on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Only a limited number of foreign players are allowed on each CBA team. Notable imports include former NBA All-Stars Stephon Marbury, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, Steve Francis, and Metta World Peace — as well as several NBA veterans who would become CBA All-Stars — Michael Beasley, Aaron Brooks, Al Harrington, Lester Hudson, Kenyon Martin, Randolph Morris, Shavlik Randolph, and J.R. Smith.

In addition, Congolese player Emmanuel Mudiay was selected in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, which made him the first non-Chinese national to be drafted into the NBA directly from the CBA. The Chinese Basketball Association has held its own draft since 2015, but teams bring up most domestic players through their own youth academies.


The CBA began play in the 199596 season. The league should not be confused with the Chinese Basketball Association (organisation), which was founded in June 1956[1] and represents the country in matters involving the sport's governing body, FIBA. Basketball in China is currently regulated by 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 for just one winter (1996–97).[4]

The first non-Chinese player to compete in the CBA was Mihail Savinkov of Uzbekistan, who joined the Zhejiang Squirrels in the league's inaugural 199596 campaign.[5] During the 199697 season, 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 from the United States to follow in the ensuing years.

Some other notable foreign pioneers included John Spencer, who joined the Jiangsu Dragons later in the 199697 campaign, and David Vanterpool, who inked a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers the following winter, and helped the team move up to the CBA in time for the 199899 season. The CBA's first international coach was American Robert Hoggard, who led the Sichuan Pandas for the last eight games of the 199798 campaign.[6]

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 Bayi, which technically translates into English as "August First," the day China's People's Liberation Army was founded). All others are province-level designations (either a province or a Chinese municipality).
  2. A corporate sponsor name. This sponsor may change from year to year, and sometimes 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.[7]

Current clubs

While teams are listed by division here, the CBA does not use these designations for regular season scheduling anymore, as each squad now plays each other once at home and once on the road. Divisions are used for the league's annual All-Star Game, however, and are shown here for the sake of convenience.


This is a chronological listing of current and former CBA teams according to the season that they entered the league.

Jiangsu Monkey King Beikong Fly Dragons Sichuan Blue Whales Tianjin Ronggang Qingdao DoubleStar Zhejiang Lions Shenzhen Leopards Yunnan Bulls Shanxi Zhongyu Fujian Sturgeons Xinjiang Flying Tigers Hong Kong Flying Dragons Pure-Youth Construction Basketball Team Shenzhen Yikang Guangzhou Long-Lions 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

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.[8]

Season Champions Result Runners-up Finals MVP Notes
1995–96 Bayi Rockets 2 – 0 Guangdong Southern Tigers Home/Away format used for 2 seasons
1996–97 Bayi Rockets 2 – 0 Liaoning Hunters
1997–98 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Liaoning Hunters Best-of-Five series used for 8 seasons
1998–99 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Liaoning Hunters
1999–00 Bayi Rockets 3 – 0 Shanghai Sharks Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)
2000–01 Bayi Rockets 3 – 1 Shanghai Sharks Liu Yudong (Bayi)
2001–02 Shanghai Sharks 3 – 1 Bayi Rockets Yao Ming (Shanghai)
2002–03 Bayi Rockets 3 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers Liu Yudong (Bayi)
2003–04 Guangdong Southern Tigers 3 – 1 Bayi Rockets Du Feng (Guangdong)
2004–05 Guangdong Southern Tigers 3 – 2 Jiangsu Dragons Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)
2005–06 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Bayi Rockets Yi Jianlian (Guangdong) Best-of-Seven series used since 2005–06
2006–07 Bayi Rockets 4 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)
2007–08 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Liaoning Hunters Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)
2008–09 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Xinjiang Flying Tigers Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)
2009–10 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 1 Xinjiang Flying Tigers Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)
2010–11 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 2 Xinjiang Flying Tigers Wang Shipeng (Guangdong)
2011–12 Beijing Ducks 4 – 1 Guangdong Southern Tigers Lee Hsueh-lin (Beijing)
2012–13 Guangdong Southern Tigers 4 – 0 Shandong Gold Lions Yi Jianlian (Guangdong)
2013–14 Beijing Ducks 4 – 2 Xinjiang Flying Tigers Randolph Morris (Beijing)
2014–15 Beijing Ducks 4 – 2 Liaoning Flying Leopards Stephon Marbury (Beijing)
2015–16 Sichuan Blue Whales 4 – 1 Liaoning Flying Leopards Hamed Haddadi (Sichuan)

CBA Finals appearances

This is a list of teams which have advanced to the CBA Finals and the overall win-loss records they have compiled in the Championship Series.

12Guangdong Southern Tigers84.667Made every Finals from 2002–03 to 2012–13
11Bayi Rockets83.727Made every Finals from 1995–96 to 2003–04
3Beijing Ducks301.000
3Shanghai Sharks12.333
1Sichuan Blue Whales101.000
6Liaoning Flying Leopards06.000
4Xinjiang Flying Tigers04.000
1Jiangsu Dragons01.000
1Shandong Golden Stars01.000

Regular season awards

This is a list of award winners. Since the 2012–13 season, the CBA has honored two Most Valuable Players, one Domestic and one International.

Season Most Valuable Player Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year
1995–96 Hu Weidong (Jiangsu) Wang Fei (Bayi) • Wang Lifa (Guangdong)
1996–97 Hu Weidong (Jiangsu)
1997–98 Gong Xiaobin (Shandong) Wang Fei (Bayi) • Ye Peng (Shandong)
1998–99 Sun Jun (Jilin)
1999–00 Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)
2000–01 Yao Ming (Shanghai)
2001–02 Liu Yudong (Bayi)
2002–03 Sun Jun (Jilin)
2003–04 Tang Zhengdong (Jiangsu)
2004–05 Tang Zhengdong (Jiangsu)
2005–06 VACATED *
2006–07 Tang Zhengdong (Jiangsu)
2007–08 Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong)
2008–09 Mengke Bateer (Xinjiang)
2009–10 Mengke Bateer (Xinjiang)
2010–11 Mengke Bateer (Xinjiang)
2011–12 Zhu Fangyu (Guangdong) Zhu Yanxi (Beijing) Min Lulei (Beijing) • Yang Xuezeng (Shanxi)
2012–13 Domestic: Yi Jianlian (Guangdong) • International: Stephon Marbury (Beijing)
2013–14 Domestic: Yi Jianlian (Guangdong) • International: Lester Hudson (Xinjiang)
2014–15 Domestic: Yi Jianlian (Guangdong) • International: Lester Hudson (Liaoning)
2015–16 Domestic: Yi Jianlian (Guangdong) • International: Michael Beasley (Shandong)

* Mengke Bateer (Beijing) was originally chosen as the 2005–06 CBA Regular Season MVP, but was later stripped of the honor as a disciplinary punishment.[9]

Records, Individual

This is a list of individual records separated into three categories — single game, single season, and career.

Some of these records may be outdated due to the difficulty of obtaining complete statistics from the CBA.

Single Game

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
Errick McCollum
Zhejiang Golden Bulls
Zhejiang Golden Bulls 119–129 Guangdong Southern Tigers
2015 January 30
Personal Fouls
Multiple Record Holders
Multiple Teams
Multiple Games
Multiple Seasons

Single 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.
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

This is a list of team records separated into four categories — single game, single season, single season plus postseason, and across seasons.

Single Game

  • 178 by Fujian Sturgeons (vs. 177 by Zhejiang Golden Bulls on 2014 February 09 in 5 overtimes).
  • 355 - Fujian Sturgeons (178) vs. Zhejiang Golden Bulls (177) on 2014 February 09 in 5 overtimes.

Single Season

Single Season + Postseason

Across Seasons

(Note: Bayi won 4 playoff games in 199596, and had joined the CBA holding a 14-game streak, so the team's overall spree reached 48 games)[10]

Notable players

Listed below are some of the most accomplished Chinese players who have competed in the CBA.

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

Domestic players from the CBA who were drafted but have not played in the NBA

Domestic players from the CBA who are known for league or national team exploits

Scroll down to view more names.

Foreign Imports

Listed below are some of the most accomplished foreign players who have competed in the CBA.

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

Scroll down to view more names

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

Scroll down to view more names.

Social media

In 2016, the CBA became the first Asian basketball league with one million followers on Weibo, its main social media site.

See also


External links

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