What happened to Eric Bledsoe’s team in China? Learn all there is to know about the situation.
Eric Bledsoe‘s season came to an abrupt and wild end today in China. Bledsoe plays for the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Earlier today, the CBA announced that the Sharks and the Jiangsu Dragons have been disqualified from the playoffs for allegedly fixing games so that Bledsoe, who was in the midst of a four-game suspension, would be able to play earlier in the next round if the Sharks advanced.
The CBA Disciplinary and Ethics Commission accused the Sharks of “giving up” in the second half of Game Two of the play-in tournament so that Bledsoe would only miss one game if Sharks won Game Three. In Game Three, the Dragons demonstrated a “lack of competitive effort” in the final minutes, committing five straight turnovers and allowing the Sharks to go on a 10-0 run to win 108-104 and advance to the semifinals. Fans on Chinese social media were outraged afterward, with “match-fixing” trending on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.
What punishment did the Shanghai Sharks receive?
Both the Shanghai Sharks and Jiangsu Dragons received a fine and suspension.
Both teams were fined five million Chinese yuan (approximately $727,000) and their coaches and general managers received multi-year bans. Bledsoe, who averaged 17.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game for the Sharks this season, did not receive any individual punishment.
The league said in a statement on Monday that the Sharks and Dragons showed a “lack of competitive effort” and were “negative in competition” during their best-of-three playoff series that concluded Friday. The teams also will be fined the equivalent of $5 million and have their general managers and head coaches suspended from the league for up to five years.
The CBA, headed by NBA great Yao Ming, initially announced Saturday that it wanted reports from both teams on their conduct during the series. Yao said Monday in a statement that the situation was “quite saddening,” but stressed that the disqualifications and other penalties were necessary to preserve the league’s credibility.