Former NBA point guard Patrick Mills has been released by Chinese professional club Xinjiang after he refused to play because of an alleged fake injury, the club said Wednesday.
"Due to a fake injury, the Xinjiang team has cut the foreign player Mills," team general manager Hou Wei said in a posting on the team’s microblog.
The release of the Australian, who played last season for the Portland Trailblazers, comes after Xinjiang fired head coach Bob Donewald on December 20 and allowed former Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin to leave.
Mills has not played since Dec. 23 because of a hamstring injury and had asked the team to allow him to sit out another two weeks to fully heal, the Basketball Pioneers newspaper said. The club refused the request.
Mills is expected to anchor Australia’s national team at the London Olympics. During his 12 matches with Xinjiang, the lightning quick guard averaged 26.5 points a game.
Both Mills and Martin signed with Xinjiang during the NBA lockout, which ended in early December as the club sought to improve on its second-place finish in the Chinese Basketball Association last season.
This season they are 9-7.
Martin reportedly bought out his $3 million record CBA contract days after the sacking of Donewald, who remains coach of China’s national team.
According to the Basketball Pioneers, neither Mills nor Martin will be allowed to sign with any other pro team until after the CBA season ends in March because of contractual stipulations.