HoopsHype Yi Jianlian rumors

January 2, 2012 Updates

He's been playing in China and recently suffered a minor knee injury, and will require a few days before he gets his release from overseas and makes it to Dallas. When he does, the plan is for Yi to play his way into shape at the NBDL Texas Legends in Frisco. "He's a young, athletic big guy who we believe still hasn't shown everybody what he can do,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We got a great situation because he doesn't need to be thrown into the fray right away. We can work with him. He may spend some time in the D-League. Right now, we're looking at a lot of things related to our present and our future.'' Dallas Morning News

January 1, 2012 Updates
December 1, 2011 Updates
November 29, 2011 Updates

With the NBA lockout now officially over, Yi Jianlian’s stay in the CBA is also over. As expected, Yi is taking full advantage of his specially made “Yi Jianlian Clause” to return to the United States in an attempt to sign on with a team. The news has been made official by Guangdong Hongyuan’s official Sina Weibo feed. NiuBBall.com

November 26, 2011 Updates

But one that appears legitimate is Yi Jianlian‘s knee injury. Via NBA247365.com: Sina Sports recently reported that the knee injury isn’t too serious, but unlike JR Smith, Yi will still be forced to rest for at least two weeks. Here’s a link to Sina’s article in Chinese, and an excerpt from my poorly-translated version that’s just good enough to get the point across… NBCSports.com

Defending champions Guangdong Hongyuan had to swallow their first defeat of this season as they lost to the Beijing Ducks 104-92 in the third round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Friday. To make the situation even worse, Guangdong's star center Yi Jianlian was injured midway the game when teammate Zhu Fangyu crushed him in the right leg while falling after a scramble with Beijing's Stephan Marbury. Yi, who started his game with three points, then walked off the court and was sent to a local hospital for examination. Without Yi's offensive and defensive power, Guangdong shooters under-performed in the game, with Wang Shipeng and Zhou Peng scoring seven points and nine points respectively. China Daily

Only two of Guangdong players collected double figures. Center James Singleton harvested game-high 33 points and 15 rebounds, and Zhu Fangyu added 22. "We are still unsure about Yi's injury," said Guangdong head coach Li Chunjiang. "Losing a game is quite normal in the whole season, so we shouldn't take it a big thing." "Brooks didn't put on a great show as we had expected. He needs enough rest and training," Li added. Marbury was the hero of Beijing Ducks as the former NBA All-Star knocked down 18 points and dished out eight assists. China Daily

November 25, 2011 Updates

Emiliano Carchia: JR Smith got injured in the 1st game in CBA, today Yi Jianlian got hurt on his knee and left the court in the second half via @Jon Pastuszek Twitter

October 18, 2011 Updates

In the case of Yi, he fits the league’s first requirement. Before the lockout hit on July 1st, the Wizards declined to pick up his $5.4 million qualifying offer, which makes him an unrestricted free-agent. But in regard to the second rule, Yi’s under a different set of circumstances because of his Chinese passport. The no opt-out rule only applies to players registered as foreign imports, not domestic players. Since Yi is Chinese, he can be legally registered as a local player and can thus sidestep any regulations regarding out-clauses. The special rule has since been dubbed “The Yi Clause.” NiuBBall.com

On the other side of the ocean, the NBA probably wouldn’t be too happy about that scenario either. For better or worse, Yi is now David Stern’s only direct Chinese link to the highly valued Middle Kingdom market. As Guan Weijia introduced to Western audiences last week what is a long known fact about the NBA in China, TV ratings have been at all-time lows since 2008-09 when Yao went down with what would be a career ending injury. It’s true that the NBA has made a lot of progress marketing its own superstars to China, but the fact remains that for most casual Chinese viewers, watching Yao was more important than watching basketball. Take Yi away, and Stern would be left with even less fans than he has now. NiuBBall.com

Yi won’t create sciesmic shifts for a team’s financials, but he still has commercial potential for the NBA and the team that signs him. Plus, there’s still that somewhat tantalizing on-court potential that at least one team will take a cheap, low-risk flier on in the hope that its finally realized. In all, forcing Yi to stay the whole year in the NBA is against everyone’s interest. And that’s why Yi is heading back to the States as soon as Billy Hunter and Stern can get a deal done. NiuBBall.com

October 10, 2011 Updates

Until the NBA and its players’ union can come to a resolution on a new collective bargaining agreement, Yi Jianlian is returning to the place where his professional basketball career started. Jarinn Akana, one of Yi’s representatives, confirmed that his client has signed a contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association which will have an NBA out for whenever the labor dispute is settled. “Although he may not stay with us very long, I am quite sure his return is good for himself, the team and Chinese fans as well, “ Guangdong Hongyuan’s team manager Liu Hongjiang told the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. “He could keep his edge in CBA, our team will also benefit from his skills and fans certainly want to see him play at his best years.” Washington Post

Akana explained in a telephone interview that since Yi is a local player, the CBA and the Southern Tigers have both afforded him the privilege of leaving whenever he signs another deal in the NBA. The CBA begins in November, so Yi had was pressed to make a decision about playing or training on his own. “Yi looked at the lockout situation and wanted to be on the right side of the fence. If something came down, and they made an agreement he could come back and if not, he’s on that side that he can play,” Akana said. “It was just a matter of looking at the situation and figuring out if it made sense to play.” Washington Post

October 8, 2011 Updates
September 28, 2011 Updates

This is the first MVP award Yi has earned while playing for the national team, indicating that Team China has become Yi’s team, and the Era of Yi in Chinese basketball has begun. In October, he will return to the U.S. to continue his training. What remains to be seen is whether a job awaits him in the NBA. Some have suggested that because of the NBA lockout, Yi, an unrestricted free agent, will go back to the Chinese Basketball Association. But one of his friends told me that, unless the NBA lockout lasts for a whole season, he will not be back. Yi’s former boss, Guangdong Tigers general manager Chen Haitao, has also confirmed it. “After Yao retired, I am carrying more and more responsibility. For our team, I must do everything I can to get victory. It’s doubtless,” Yi said. “I hope that I can show fans a better and stronger Yi Jianlian.” SheridanHoops

August 11, 2011 Updates

Without iconic giant center Yao Ming, former Washington Wizards power forward Yi Jianlian has emerged as the vocal leader of the Chinese national squad at the just concluded Stankovic Continental Cup. "I often face double or triple teams without Yao or Wang (Zhizhi) on the court, so other guys' performances have to make a difference. They have to keep moving and passing the ball smoothly to make space. That will make things much easier for me," Yi said after the team lost its seventh consecutive game at the tournament against Russia on Monday. China Daily

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