Because you’re going to be hearing his name a lot very soon. ESPN.com says the 19-year-old 7-footer from Shenzhen is the third-best player in the June 28 NBA Draft. ESPN NBA expert Chad Ford had this to say (there is also a video that accompanies that story … Yi Jianlian speaks very good English):
For better and for worse, but mostly for better, Yi represents a new generation of Chinese players more influenced by Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady than by Yao Ming.
Some compare Yi’s game to Toni Kukoc. Others say Pau Gasol. And whoever wrote Yi’s Wikipedia entry suggests Kevin Garnett.
See for yourself. There are plenty of Yi videos on YouTube:
Highlight reel set to music
Yi’s top-10 slam dunks
Chinese Nike commercial featuring Yi (also embedded in this post)
Yi makes the NBA Daily Top-10
Yi’s 18 moves
Yi stars in a (very long) Chinese milk commercial