NBA to allow ‘one-time exception' for Jordan Clarkson, two others to play in Asian Games
The decision comes as a reversal of the league's earlier ruling
The NBA has decided to grant Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson a "special exception" to play in the Asian Games in Jakarta this week. The same exception given to Clarkson, who will play for the Philippines, will also be given to Rockets center Zhou Qi and Mavericks forward Ding Yanyuhang, both of whom will represent China.
The decision comes as a reversal of the NBA's prior ruling that prohibited the players from competing in the tournament. As part of the league's agreement with FIBA, NBA players are typically only permitted to compete in FIBA-sanctioned international events -- such as the Olympics and FIBA Basketball World Cup.
However, the league recognized that there was a miscommunication between the two sides and elected to make an exception this year.
"Due to a lack of clear communication of that agreement between the NBA and the Chinese and the Philippines Basketball Federations, and after further discussions with both Federations, the NBA has agreed to provide this one-time exception," the league said in a statement.
The decision was met with celebration from both Clarkson and the people of the Philippines on Tuesday.
"PUSO!," Clarkson wrote. "My heart is full of gratitude for everyone who helped make this happen. See you all very soon!"
Clarkson will be granted the additional honor of serving as the country's flagbearer during the tournament's opening ceremony, though he's not expected to suit up for the team's first game on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Clarkson split this past season between the Lakers and Cavaliers, averaging 13.9 points, 2.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
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