Today, a brief post basically repudiating yesterday’s post on the increasingly tired topic of Yi Jianlian. It seems that Sporting News got it wrong: Yi, and not his agent, is the source of the demand that the Bucks trade him to a city with a larger Asian population. Marc Stein of ESPN reports on the meeting between Bucks GM Larry Harris, Coach Larry Kryskowiak, Yi, and – presumably – Yi’s representatives.
When asked how receptive Yi was to his pitch, Harris added: “He was very pleasant, very engaging. I think he’s excited about playing in the NBA. But I made it very clear [to Yi] — not in a negative way — that we’re not going to trade you.”
In response? Yi didn’t outright demand a trade but, according to sources, insisted that it remains his wish — as opposed to an agenda being pushed by Nike or his American agent Dan Fegan — to play in a bigger market with a larger Asian population.
[sidenote: why did Stein’s sources insist on background? Obviously, the sources in question were at the meeting, and that meeting was attended by three or four people. Weird. Stein doesn’t speak Chinese; Yi barely speaks English; Stein is a full-time NBA writer with very well-developed sources in the league, so that leaves … ]
If this is the case – and I suppose it probably is – then I imagine that NBA commissioner David Stern is going to do everything in his power to preserve the integrity of the draft and somehow force Yi to play in Milwaukee.