NBA allows Jordan Clarkson, two others to play in Asian Games

After initially ruling that players couldn't take part in the Asian Games, the NBA decided Tuesday to make a onetime exception to allow three players to play.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is expected to play for the Philippines, and Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi and Dallas Mavericks forward Ding Yanyuhang are expected to play for China. The event starts Saturday in Indonesia.

Clarkson expressed his excitement over the decision Tuesday on his Facebook page.

"My heart is full of gratitude for everyone who helped make this happen," he wrote. "See you all very soon."

The NBA has an agreement with FIBA, the international governing body, that permits players to take part in the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup and Continental Cups, plus their associated qualifying tournaments. The Asian Games do not fall into any of those categories.

But the league said there was a communication breakdown with the Chinese and Philippines basketball federations. After the sides negotiated, the league agreed to allow a dispensation.

One factor that might have played a role is that Hall of Famer Yao Ming has taken over as the president of the Chinese national team and was part of the process to get his players cleared.

The Chinese have revamped their national team under Yao as they build toward next summer, when the country hosts the FIBA World Cup for the first time.