Yi Jianlian to the Milwaukee Bucks…for now. And Sun Yue to the L.A. Lakers…for now.
Assessing the draft (Sports Illustrated – includes notes on Yi)
Draft winners and losers (Sports Illustrated)
And, contrary to all appearances on the CSB these past couple of weeks, there is actually sports-related news from China that has nothing at all to do with basketball:
Late starters face uphill task in China (News of the NFL in China…from Reuters)
Today it’s the International Herald Tribune with a well-researched piece on both Yi Jianlian and Sun Yue, also a member of the Chinese national team who has declared for the draft.
NBA about to get fourth Chinese player in 7-foot Yi Jianlian (IHT.com)
And speaking of basketball buzz…Yao Ming and Ye Li have finally announced that they’re getting married, according to the Chinese press and none other than People magazine in the States:
Yao Ming engaged to basketball-player girlfriend (People.com)
The U.S. press has discovered Yi Jianlian en masse today….the New York Times and USA Today both filed stories on Yi. T minus three days to the draft. Best quote comes from the USA Today article:
Broadcaster [Don] MacLean, the former UCLA star and NBA forward, worked with Yi for a week recently.
“People say, ‘Oh, he’s good for a Chinese player.’ No, he’s good for good,” MacLean says.
Thank goodness somebody’s finally picked up on the fact that saying that someone is good “for a Chinese player” is pretty damn insulting. He’s just good, the same way Yao is just good. Props to MacLean, and best of luck to Yi in the draft. (I’ve got the club picked out that I think will take him, but I’ll wait to see what happens Thursday before saying anything…)
The NBA and China hope they’ve found the next Yao (New York Times – available free online for one week)
China’s Yi brings wow factor to NBA draft (USA Today)
The Atlanta Hawks website features a Q&A with Sports Illustrated China’s basketball editor, Ma Yue, on Yi Jianlian’s strengths and weaknesses. The CSB was involved in this one: the Atlanta Hawks webmaster contacted us and we got the Q&A to China and back again to the U.S. Some very lively commentary from Hawks fans on Yi’s perceived value…definitely makes things interesting going into the last ten days before the draft.
I’m on deadline for an article for Sports Illustrated China…what better time to check out the web for lots of cool stuff about Yi Jianlian?
Yi Jianlian highlight reel from China
From now until draft day on June 28, you’re going to be hearing more and more about China’s Yi Jianlian. After Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, it’s a toss-up for who will be picked in the early stages of the first round of the 2007 NBA draft, but conventional wisdom seems to be pointing in the direction of Yi, a seven-foot power forward from the Guangdong Hongyuan Tigers team of the Chinese Basketball Association, being a very early pick – maybe even as high as number three. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Janny Hu spent time wit Yi in Los Angeles and filed the report below on his draft prospects.
NBA Draft: China’s star-in-waiting? (SFGate.com)
The CSB was in Eugene, Oregon today to watch Liu Xiang compete at the Prefontaine Classic, the most prestigious international professional track meet in the United States. It wasn’t quite as pretty as the 12.92 in New York – the weather was cool and cloudy, it had rained for most of the day yesterday and part of the morning today, and so the conditions weren’t perfect for sprinting. But it was still a victory, albeit under slightly scary circumstances – American Dominique Arnold stumbled on a hurdle and appeared to almost obstruct Liu in the adjacent lane. France’s Ladji Doucoure ran a respectable race – the 2005 world champion is on his way back after a ten-month injury break. Overall, it was a great day at the races.
China’s golden boy (The Register-Guard, Eugene OR)
I’ll tell you all about it later, but it’s been quite a ride this week in New York. Liu Xiang is a star among the Chinese like no other, and this week, Karen Crouse of the New York Times took the time to feature Liu in an article ahead of today’s Reebok Grand Prix, where Liu is one of the headliners. The very able translator who assisted Karen with this interview is Columbia University Ph.D. student Wang Jingwen, whose ease in both Mandarin and English, along with her poise in handling herself in front of one of her heroes, was astounding to see. Liu may not have been recognized at the Chinese restaurant around the corner from his hotel, but make no mistake – the Chinese media are out in force, and Liu’s fans are too. It should be a great night of track tonight at Icahn Stadium in New York City.
A Runner Taking Each Hurdle As It Comes (New York Times)
Reebok Grand Prix 2007 – event website