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Taiwanese basketball team signs former NBA third overall pick

2018/10/23 11:26:26

Former NBA player O.J. Mayo (Image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) A Taiwanese basketball team has signed former National Basketball Association (NBA) player O.J. Mayo, the third overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, to play in Taiwan's Super Basketball League (SBL) this season.

The Taipei-based Dacin Tigers (台北達欣), one of seven teams in the semi-professional SBL, has signed a contract with the 30-year-old American guard, the team told CNA Monday, without providing any other details on the deal.

The 6-foot-4-inch (1.93-meter) shooting guard was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the third overall pick in the 2008 draft but his rights were traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Kevin Love.

He played with the Grizzlies for four seasons, but tested positive for a banned steroid and was suspended by the NBA for 10 games. Mayo signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012, with whom he had one of his best seasons, and then with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.

On July 1, 2016, Mayo was dismissed from the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug program. He later played for Atléticos de San Germán of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) in Puerto Rico.

Mayo was a member of NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2009, when he averaged a career high 18.5 points, and he finished his eight-year NBA career averaging 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

Dacin President Lin Yu-chun (林俞均) told CNA the team did express concern about Mayo's drug history before signing him.

But Mayo's agent provided test results proving that the player is no longer using drugs, Lin said.

Wang Tsai-hsiang (王才翔), the Tigers' general manager, told CNA that the team was willing to offer Mayo a second chance after he promised he was clean.

"Hopefully he can regain his past glory in Taiwan and bring the team another championship," Wang said.

The Tigers have won two SBL titles, one in 2009 and the other in 2017.

(By Long Po-an and Joseph Yeh)
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