Smith won't try to escape from CBA

Updated: 2011-12-09 08:07

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The recent speculation about J.R. Smith's possible escape from the CBA could be over as his club, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, confirmed the former Denver Nugget will play the whole 2011-2012 season without opting out of his contract.

The Golden Bulls' general manager, Zhao Bing, released an official statement on Thursday stressing Smith has enjoyed his China sojourn and will stay with the team to the season's end in March.

"He's done a great job adjusting to the lifestyle here and fitting into the system of the team. He's enjoying his time on and off the court and has committed to fulfilling his one-year contract," Zhao said on the team's micro-blog.

As a number of NBA players around the world are set to return to the United States for the salvaged season, Smith was also reported to be trying to figure out ways to end his China adventure prematurely and rejoin the Nuggets' roster, according to Yahoo and ESPN reports.

Zhao refuted those stories and hailed his "smooth" contact with the sharpshooter's American agent, Leon Rose, who urged the team to make the statement.

"The two sides have been keeping in constant contact and he (Rose) thought it was the right time to underline J.R.'s decision to stay here. Fans don't need to worry about that," Zhao said.

Chinese agent Zhao Gang, who introduced Smith to Zhejiang in the summer, also denied any attempts from Smith's US crew to abandon his contract with the Golden Bulls.

China Daily