Knicks centre Turiaf joins French club during lock-out

PARIS (Reuters) - New York Knicks center Ronny Turiaf will become the sixth NBA-based Frenchman to play in the French league when he joins Villeurbanne ASVEL during the NBA lock-out, the Pro A team said on Monday.

"I will be on the plane on Wednesday and I hope to take part in my first training session by the end of the week," Turiaf told the club's website (

Turiaf will join San Antonio Spur and three-times NBA champion Tony Parker at ASVEL after Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers) joined Nancy, Pape Sy (Atlanta Hawks) signed with Gravelines, Ian Mahinmi (Dallas Mavericks) went to Le Havre and Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats) joined second division Bordeaux.

The NBA canceled the first two weeks of the regular season last week after owners and players were unable to resolve a bitter labor dispute.

NBA Commissioner David Stern warned that the entire season could be in jeopardy if significant progress toward a collective agreement was not make this week.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot)