Chinese club waives to sign up former NBA star Baker
Updated: 2008-12-05 16:52
SHENYANG, Northeast China -- Liaoning Hunters have waived to sign up former NBA player Vin Baker for their Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league campaign due to physical concerns, the Chinese club announced on Thursday.

"Baker is an experienced player, but he isn't physically fit enough to play in the CBA league," said Hunters head coach Guo Shiqiang.

"We're going to have a long and competitive new season. It is too much for a 37-year-old veteran," he added.

Baker, who averaged 15.1 points in his 13-year NBA career, appeared in four consecutive All-Star Games and played for the United States at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

The 2.22m forward played for several NBA teams before he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2006 for alcoholism.

Baker had a two-day trial at the Hunters after he arrived in Yingkou, Liaoning Province, on November 30. Despite his superb skills and accurate shooting, his physical condition let the Liaoning club down.

"His body doesn't allow him to play a 50-game season. He had to take a rest in a five-to-five game. We are regretful he cannot play with us," Guo said.

The Hunters, last-season's runners-up, are desperate to find a replacement for Tommy Smith, who was sacked for poor performance in the opening rounds of this season.