HoopsHype Yi Jianlian rumors

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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

August 1, 2011 Updates

Chinese NBA-player Yi Jianlian will play the 2011 Stankovic Continental Cup, starting here on Monday, but his playing time will be limited. "Yi has joined the team in a close-door traning camp since July 20 and will play the upcoming tournament, but his playing time will not be too much," said China head coach Robert Donewald at a news conference in Haining on Sunday. "He still needs some time to adjust himself, so I don't want him to play too much time and he has to come up gradually before the Asian Championship in September when he reaches his top shape," Donewald added. Xinhua

July 19, 2011 Updates

Yi Jianlian, who Time magazine once predicted would be the next Yao, is now an unrestricted free agent after being dropped by the Washington Wizards. Sun Yue, the only Chinese national to play point guard in the N.B.A., was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers but played 10 games, averaging a mere 0.6 points, before his demotion to the Development League. He has returned to the Chinese Basketball Association. China, Zhang wrote in Basketball Pioneers magazine, must develop smaller, faster and more skilled players like the ones who thrive in the West. “China has no shortage of this kind of talent,” he said. “We simply have coaching and systemic problems that prevent us from discovering and developing these players.” New York Times

But youth and height, as any N.B.A. fan knows, do not alone predict victory on the court. “At age 10, you can’t identify the next Allen Iverson,” Bob Donewald Jr., the American coach of China’s national team, said in a phone interview. Nor the next Derrick Rose, the N.B.A.’s most valuable player last season, who stands 6-3. As the coach of the national team and before that the Shanghai Sharks, Yao’s former team, Donewald sees the structural problems plaguing Chinese basketball up close. The system’s failures, he said, directly affect the quality of his players. “What’s amazing is that in a country of 1.3 billion I can’t find a point guard,” he said. New York Times

“When you work in Chinese basketball, you realize that the C.B.A., the clubs and the national team don’t care and don’t want to hear about the process,” Donewald said. “They just want results. But it’s by building the infrastructure that you win more medals and make more stars.” No matter how Chinese sports officials address the dearth of basketball talent, resting on Yao’s laurels is no longer an option. His departure, some fans said, has stirred a surprising emotion: relief. “Yao’s presence was like a massive shadow that no one could escape,” said Li Nan, the amateur player in Beijing. “Everybody thought if they wanted to make it to the N.B.A., they would have to be like Yao — a 7-6 Chinese ambassador.” New York Times

July 15, 2011 Updates

Coach Bob Donewald Jr’s training plans with the China National Team received a boost with the announcement that Washington Wizards’ power forward Yi Jianlian will join the team for the Continental Cup tournament to be played in Haining and Guangzhou from 1-9 August. Defending champions Australia, Russia and Angola, as well as China will take part in the Haining leg from Aug 1 to 4. New Zealand will replace Australia to join Russia, Angola and the hosts play in Guangzhou from Aug 6-9. Both legs will feature a round-robin format first with the top two teams playing the final, and the other two playing the 3rd place play-off. FIBA.com

April 25, 2011 Updates
April 19, 2011 Updates

Yi Jianlian isn’t sure he’ll return to the Wizards, but he isn’t worried about what his future may hold. At the least opportune time -- his contract year -- Yi had the worst statistical season of his career, averaging just 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 63 games. Washington Post

Yi was looking forward to heading back home to China, where he will spend time with family and friends. He will later work on getting better for next season, wherever he plays. He will also play for the Chinese national team again. “I know a lot of things I can do a lot better to improve myself. That’s my focus,” said Yi, adding that he has to work on “a lot. Footwork, body, in the post, hands.” Washington Post

March 23, 2011 Updates
February 18, 2011 Updates

The 7-foot tall power forward, the NBA's best known Chinese player after Yao Ming, joined the Washington Wizards last summer. He quickly became an important part of the team. It's been an eye-opening experience for the Guangdong, China, native as he adjusts to a new city ... and new country. "Here in America it's more relaxed. There are a lot of people in China. " Yi said. He's learned to speak English and has settled near Washington's historic Chinatown. But it's still hard being so far away from home. So many things to miss. "Family, friends, food ... -You do have McDonalds in China!" Said Yi. People's Daily

December 20, 2010 Updates

The greatest basketball player that China has ever produced may be staring down his athletic mortality, trying to decide if he can handle another comeback from another foot injury. But as Houston Rockets center Yao Ming considers the options for his future after discovering that he was done for the season with a stress fracture in his left foot, Wizards forward Yi Jianlian would like to see him play again. "I hope so. I really hope so. Me, all the fans in China, we really hope that he gets back on the court," Yi said. Washington Post

December 15, 2010 Updates

Yi Jianlian may have to wait until March 20 to get his first shot against his former team, the New Jersey Nets. Yi will stay behind as the team hopes to end a 12-game road losing streak against the Nets on Thursday after an MRI revealed that he has a sprained right medial collateral ligament. Yi said he would likely miss the next two to four weeks, which puts his availability for the Wizards' next game against New Jersey on Jan. 7 in doubt. Yi was injured in the first quarter of the Wizards' 103-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when Ron Artest fell on the same knee that he hyperextended on Nov. 13. Yi was forced to miss the next nine games, but he had come back to average 7.8 points and 5 rebounds in his next four games. When asked if he was disappointed about missing out on the Nets, Yi replied, "Things happen." Washington Post

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