Tuesday , Jul , 17 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Yi Jianlian’s Chinese Club Shouldn’t Block His Future With Milwaukee Bucks

Reports indicate Yi’s Chinese club team, the Guangdong Tigers, won’t let him sign with the Bucks … The Tigers have a number of concerns about the city of Milwaukee and the club’s roster … Should Guangdong have any influence on Yi’s future with Milwaukee? … Click here for news and analysis on this story …

Reuters reports on Yi Jianlian’s situation with the Milwaukee Bucks:

The Milwaukee Bucks‘ campaign to secure the services of reluctant power forward Yi Jianlian has suffered a blow after the player’s Chinese club said it would block his move to the United States.

Yi, taken by Milwaukee with the sixth selection in the NBA draft last month, would "definitely not" play for Milwaukee, Tuesday’s Beijing News quoted  chief, Chen Haitao, as saying.

"This is not — as media reports have said — because Milwaukee, as a city with very few Chinese people, is not good for Yi’s commercial development," Chen said.

"Rather we want to find a team suitable for Yi’s growth. That’s the root of the problem," he added.

Earlier in July, Yi’s Chinese agent said the unsigned player was looking to be traded to another club, despite pledges by Milwaukee officials to do whatever they could to make him feel at home.

Chen expressed concern that Yi would have trouble getting playing time with the Bucks, whose squad boasts Australian 7-footer Andrew Bogut and a number of other tall young players.

"The national team Guangdong Tigersand the Olympic Games are now our key considerations … If [Yi] goes to a team where he can’t compete, that would be being irresponsible to the national team," Chen said.

My Quick Take: Last time I checked, the NBA Draft is where NBA teams pick the players they want. Players don’t pick teams. And players’ old teams, in leagues half-way around the world, don’t pick players’ new teams.

his handlers, and the Guangdong Tigers missed the memo. Even worse, The Entourage’s concerns are without merit.

What’s so bad about playing in ? , the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, reported to without incident. Houston is a large market with a prominent Chinese community. But it probably wasn’t Yao’s first choice of places to play.

Still, Yao went about his business in Houston. He surrounded himself with friends, family, and mentors. He made himself comfortable. And Yao has developed into one of the game’s best centers. His brand is thriving. He even signed a long-term extension with the Rockets.

Why can’t Yi and his posse make the best of Milwaukee?

And Andrew Bogut won’t hinder Yi’s development. They play different positions and would complement each other. The rugged Australian would allow Yi to step out on the perimeter and show his skill.

The Bucks have two other young posts: and . Big deal. What ‘s so unfair about Yi competing with other talented players for minutes?

This ordeal makes little sense. And Camp Yi is only succeeding at one thing: putting a young teenager in a no-win situation, wherever he ends up.

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