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Cavaliers' Chinese owner to buy domestic club

HUANG Jianhua, one of minority owners of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, had signed agreement with Jilin Northeast Tigers to buy the Chinese Basketball Association club, a team official confirmed today.

Zhang Aijun, the General Manager of the Tigers, said he had contacted Huang several times in Beijing and Shenzhen, South China.

"It will be a complete new co-orperation with the NBA. We have many things of difference, but we do have agreed to build a better future together," Zhang told Xinhua.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the value of the Tigers is no less than 70-80 million US dollars.

Huang, a Chinese businessman who had brokered sponsorship deals with the New York Yankees, acquired 15 per cent of the Cavaliers Operating Company, the entity that owns the team, in May.

Huang would send a team to operate the marketing department in the 2009-2010 season of CBA and acquire the team after the agreement is to be proved by the Chinese Basketball Association, Zhang explained.

Huang will also help the Tigers to sign oversea players in the United States, and even bring the Cavaliers to Jilin for further co-operations. The Tigers' players will have chances to receive trainings in the U. S. as well.

According to local reports, Huang had contacted with four CBA clubs, including Shanghai Sharks, which was bought by Houston Rockets' center Yao Ming in August, Yunnan and Shannxi before he fixed on Jilin.

Zhang said, "Several companies had showed their interests in buying the Tigers this summer, but most of them wanted to move the team out of Jilin Province. I'll keep the team in Changchun. It's more important than the money."

Jilin finished 13th in the 18-team CBA league last season and to make the playoffs is the main goal next season.

"I hope the co-operation with Huang will give us more chances into the playoffs next season," Zhang said.


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