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Guangdong coach Li Chunjiang resigns for health reasons


15:35, January 07, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Accomplished coach Li Chunjiang has resigned citing health reasons after leading Guangdong Hongyuan to seven Chinese Basketball Association league titles.

Guangdong's general manager Liu Hongyu Sunday confirmed the news.

"He resigned for health reasons. We accepted his resignation after discussion," Liu told Xinhua.

Li will be replaced by his protegee Du Feng, 32, and former Chinese national team coach Jonas Kazlauskas will be the assistant coach.

Li's departure came unexpectedly as the man from China's northeast province Liaoning had carved out a successful career in Guangdong with seven league titles since 2001. His team claimed 14 wins in the first 18 rounds this season.

Some guessed that Li's stepping down was a result of his fiery temper.

"Li has not been on good terms with some players because of his bad temper," Sohu quoted an source close to the team as saying.

Du, a former international forward, anchored in Guangdong's three consecutive championships between 2003-2006 and was voted the league's MVP in 2003-2004 season.

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