With the conflict between China and the NBA reaching an all time high in recent months, one has to wonder how the situation affects former NBA players currently playing in China. One such example is former Boston Celtics power forward Guerschon Yabusele.
Yabusele was fined 10,000 yuan ($1,422) by the Chinese Basketball Association for not lifting his head while the Chinese national anthem played prior to a game.
Former-#Celtics player Guerschon Yabusele fined 10,000 yuan ($1,422) by #CBA league after he failed to look at China's national flag during the pre-game playing of China's national Anthem. https://t.co/Ue6MQsoSpp pic.twitter.com/szxS07NUX2
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) December 8, 2019
Yabusele was drafted by the Celtics with the No. 16 pick of the 2016 NBA Draft out of France. The pick was seen as a reach at the time, and that accusation remains true as after just two seasons with Boston, Yabusele was out of the NBA.
The French big man rarely played for the Celtics, averaging just 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in just 7.1 minutes for his career.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward was released by the Celtics in June of this year after Yabusele failed to produce or show much improvement in his third stint with the summer league squad.
Now, at just 23 years old, the former Celtic has found a home with the Nanjing Monkey Kings of the CBA — a league the forward is familiar with after playing with the Shanghai Sharks the season before joining Boston.
With the CBA being on a lower-tier in terms of talent compared to the NBA, Yabusele has been able to showcase the skillset that made him a first round draft pick in the first place.
In four games in the CBA season, Yabusele is averaging 17.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 26 minutes per game.
Neither Yabusele or his current team have made a statement regarding the fine but the big man isn't the only former NBA player to be punished by the CBA for the same reason. MarShon Brooks (also a former Celtic) was fined in April for the same reason.