The CBA signed a deal with a local sports clothing line and has banned players from wearing foreign sneakers.
After signing a deal with local brand Li Ning, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) have banned players from wearing Nike, Adidas shoes on the court.
The CBA’s deal with Li Ning- owned by China’s former gymnastics champion by the same name-covers everything from jerseys to shoe.
The five-year sponsorship deal between Li Ning and the CBA is worth $300 million and ends at the end of this season.
This means that players are not allowed to have an individual show deal like it is done in the NBA.
Any defaulting player is to be suspended for one game according to the CBA.
Former Los Angeles Lakers player, Yi Jianlian, who recently returned to his hometown team is facing a suspension after taking off his Li Ning shoe for his Nike during his CBA debut on Wednesday, November 2.
Yi took out his Li Ning sneakers at the beginning of the second quarter after complaining of pain in his feet.
He returned with in a Nike boot but the referee refused to let him back on the court.
He reappeared still in a Nike sneakers late in the third quarter and the referee allowed him in the court.
Yi defended his decision to take off Li Ning shoes, insisting that his feet were hurting.
“I’m not saying Li Ning shoes are not good, they are a good company,” the 29-year-old power forward said in an after-match interview.
“But my feet really hurt.”
Previously, players were allowed to wear other sneakers but with the logos covered and a fine to be paid.
The CBA, however, ended that arrangement before the beginning of the new season.