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Yi Jianlian gets another shot to get it right


It's time for me to take the next step. (Reuters)


Yi Jianlian will get a third chance to make a first impression, with his previous two teams unwilling to wait for him to provide some production to mach his potential. The Milwaukee Bucks surrendered the promising forward from China in a desperate and failed move to get the proven Richard Jefferson. Then, after a horrific 12-win season, the New Jersey Nets dumped him for that coveted but empty commodity: salary cap space.

Yi took the first step toward starting his new life as a member of the Wizards when he arrived on Thursday night. He showed up at Verizon Center the next morning at 8 for a workout with Coach Flip Saunders and other members of the coaching staff, then slipped into a Wizards polo shirt to watch some of his new teammates workout with wannabes and neverwases on the practice court. A few hours later, he showed up for a very low-key news conference, dressed in a sleek, light gray suit and afterward, posed for pictures from the fourth floor of the building.

Yi called No. 1 overall pick John Wall "one of the best point guards" and sounded excited about being on the other end of Wall's assists. Saunders said that he expects Wall's ability to break down defenses and Yi's shooting range to be assets for the Wizards next season.

Yi certainly wasn't too upset about moving on, since part of him saw it coming after the Nets spent most of last season attempting to avoid the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers record for regular season futility. He wasn't disappointed about the trade, understanding fully the circumstances that prompted the deal.

"I think everybody know this is a big free agent year and I'm not surprised when I got traded here," said Yi, who is represented by Dan Fegan, the same agent as Wall. "This is the NBA, it's all business. For me, it's just keep doing my stuff and keep working hard. I feel happy and I feel it's a great team for me. I think we'll have a great season."

The most noticeable immediate change with Yi will be his jersey number. Yi has worn the No. 9 in each of his first three seasons and he fully expected to wear it in Washington before it was announced shortly after the trade that Gilbert Arenas was switching to that number for this season. Instead, Yi will settle for No. 31.


Here's your chance, Yi. (Richard A. Lipski For The Washington Post)

The Nets were hoping to rebuild quickly through free agency, using the cap savings that came from purging Yi's $4.5 million salary from the books would give them the flexibility to lure LeBron James and possibly another big-name talent. James, of course, had other plans -- and the Nets have only been able to use that money to lure Travis Outlaw, Johan Petro and Anthony Morrow. So the Wizards are feeling even better about the deal that they made for Yi, especially with him providing some insurance if Andray Blatche is unable to fully recover from his broken right foot in time for training camp.

"It's like signing a free agent, to bolster our talent level," Saunders said at Yi's introductory press conference. "You're always evaluating players and we talked numerous times about players that would fit. As everyone knows, he's got a lot of potential. And we want to help him reach his potential."

Although others may have given up on him, the Wizards believe that his talent and work ethic, combined with a more favorable system, will lead to the breakout season that Yi -- and perhaps all of his homeland -- has been waiting for since he was drafted sixth overall in 2007. Yi has had bouts with inconsistency and been criticized for a lack of basketball instincts, but Saunders said that he has always been impressed with the 7-footers skill set and versatility. Yi can play three positions, and Saunders won't attempt to put a label on him.

Yi averaged 12 points and 7.2 rebounds and shot nearly 37 percent from beyond three-point range last season in New Jersey. He was the primary victim of Blatche's career-best performance at Izod Center in late February -- when Blatche had 36 points and 15 rebounds -- but he battled back with 20 points and 19 rebounds of his own, numbers Saunders joked that he hoped Yi would average in Washington.

"We've said all along, we're going to build with youth and build through the draft. We're fortunate to get a player of his caliber," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "He's only 22 years old. He gives us another very versatile player in the front court. He's 7 feet tall. He runs the floor very well, is an oustanding outside shooter. He can play two, three positions in the frontcourt. We think he has a real bright future."

Yi has been training this summer in Florida, working on attacking the basket and driving while facing up. He left on Friday afternoon to collect some things in New York and will soon join the Chinese national team to prepare for the World Championships this August in Istanbul. With Yao Ming retired from international play, Yi will serve as the new face of the national team. It is a responsibility that he doesn't plan to run from.

"I know a lot of fans in China focus on me and Yao. That pushes me to play harder," said Yi, adding that he expects that this summer will help prepare him for a promising season in Washingon, where the Verizon Center is located in the comforts of Chinatown. "I think I have a bright future here. I think I fit the team. For me, it's a very good opportunity to take a next step over here."

By Michael Lee  |  July 10, 2010; 10:30 PM ET
Categories:  Yi Jianlian  
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Comments

Yi will be gone after this season.

He should do well here, but command a salary that Les BouleS can't touch, so he'll leave for greener pastures and blossom.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 10, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I love everything about this piece except the reference to "the comforts of Chinatown." I prefer to call that area "Chinablock." Unless Yi will feel comforted by seeing the words "Starbucks" and "McDonalds" honorarily spelled in Mandarin, he's not going to find anything familiar in Chinablock.

Real Chinese culture (and Asian culture in general) has migrated to the suburbs-- Wheaton, Rockville and Fairfax come immediately to mind. I love the fact that downtown is something of a destination, but it pushes toward "mall" status with each national chain that moves in.

That's my rant. Now back to basketball. Go Yi! Go Wiz!

Posted by: drischord | July 10, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"

Also agreed that Blake was a good point guard fit when he was with us. Knew he would last in the NBA for the very reasons as stated above.

Another player, not great at his position, like Haywood, but knows how to play it and adds overall effectiveness and chemistry to team play.

The quest for individual strengths oft times trump the good exploits of the average to good team player.

Coaches short on wisdom oft times overlook the importance of average team play and settle for the flashy individual play that gets you nowhere (Etan Thomas).

I liked Steve Blake from the very beginning and he actually made JD better the first time around becuase they played team ball.

Juan Dixon's second stint was rudderless here because there was no team ball being played.

Steve Blake will do well in LA, a team that really understands what team play is.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse "

Blake better hit the crucial shots like how Fisher did in the finals.

It's kind of funny how Fisher was released by the Jazz for better medical treatment for his daughter in LA. Then he signed with the Lakers and helped beat the Jazz. Now, he's probably going to leave LA for more money. C'mon.....

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 10, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Delusional!!! they can print all the bull they want on Yi. It is obvious the guys game is not NBA material. beyond size and skills, an effective NBA player needs to have key intangibles. one intangible is aggressiveness. another is confidence. I question Yi's overall skill level, but i surely know Yi lacks in aggressiveness. he might be confident enough to be a key player for China, but he's not confident nor aggressive enough to be an effective NBA player.

Posted by: oknow1 | July 11, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"It's like signing a free agent, to bolster our talent level," Coach Flip Saunders said at Yi's introductory press conference.

Sure considering Ernie and Flip both loved Fab last year.

Sorry, is the truth to negative for the people on here?

How about Yi will become the next Dirk!

Better?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. He gives us another very versatile player in the front court. He can play two, three positions in the frontcourt. We think he has a real bright future."

Another versatile player?

Why can't this guy grasp you need players who play one position really well to win not a bunch of guys who play more then one really bad?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

It's kind of funny how Fisher was released by the Jazz for better medical treatment for his daughter in LA. Then he signed with the Lakers and helped beat the Jazz. Now, he's probably going to leave LA for more money. C'mon.....

Posted by: DC_MAN88

He's not leaving LA unless they don't want him anymore. His deal with LA has hit a rough patch, so he and his agent are talking to the Heat to make sure he has a job next year and also to demonstrate to the Lakers that he has options.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. He gives us another very versatile player in the front court. He can play two, three positions in the frontcourt. We think he has a real bright future."

Another versatile player?

Why can't this guy grasp you need players who play one position really well to win not a bunch of guys who play more then one really bad?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

BF78, I heard EG and Flip talk about that, and I thought much the same thing....versatility is a good thing, but maybe they should get those guys good at one position before having them learn two or three positions. Especially with the young guys, why not let them learn the nuances of one spot first?

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, is the truth to negative for the people on here?

How about Yi will become the next Dirk!

Better?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 12:02 AM

To suggest "Yi will become the next Dirk!" and pass it as truth has to be one of the dumbest comments I've ever read here.

Jeez, idiocy is second nature to this dud^^

Posted by: Risa_L | July 11, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Risa_L

I wrote "How about Yi will become the next Dirk!" because people tell me I am always negative.

The truth was that Ernie and Flip told us last year Fab was the best free agent out there for the Wizards.

Now they are saying trading for a guy that a team which won 12 games didn't want "Is like signing a free agent, to bolster our talent level,"

The fans that buy the crap the organization sells them are the idiots.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

So Yi Jianlian is not the upgrade over Quinton Ross that we thought he was?

Posted by: rickgonz | July 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

People have to remember Yi is only 22. This guy will get better. The problme the Wiz have is they don't have a big man coach. McGee under the current coaches has taken a step back as Blatche did originally. How come it's so hard for the Wiz to get a real big man coach.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 11, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

So Yi Jianlian is not the upgrade over Quinton Ross that we thought he was?

Posted by: rickgonz | July 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I didn't say he wasn't better then Ross...

My point is the way the Wizards spin things like snake oil salesmen.

"It's like signing a free agent, to bolster our talent level," Coach Flip Saunders said at Yi's introductory press conference.

Was there a better free agent out there then Yi?

Yes, but that would have cost the organization some cash instead of making 3 million from the Yi trade.

The truth is there all you have to do is look for it.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I like Yi as a player -- for size and skill, you'd have to be nuts not to -- but I don't know if he's suited to star in the NBA. A lot of really good players aren't.

They learn another style, in Europe or Asia, that's as different from the run-'n-gun NBA game as Japanese baseball is from the Major Leagues. And when the talented ones do get over here, they can struggle.

We assume the NBA game is the world's best because the athletes are so good. But if you've spent your youth learning fundamentals from an old-school coach on some national team, the NBA will seem like another planet -- the way it does to a college coach like Mike K or Bobby Knight. Like Boozer said about the last Olympics -- now these NBA superstars will get a chance to see how the game is supposed to be played.

Yi may find his place in Washington, or wind up back on his national team in China, torturing opponents in international play.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

"People have to remember Yi is only 22. This guy will get better. The problme the Wiz have is they don't have a big man coach. McGee under the current coaches has taken a step back as Blatche did originally. How come it's so hard for the Wiz to get a real big man coach.Posted by: rnbrown4"

Yi's older than 22. Probably closer to 26.

But the idea that the Wiz are failing to develop their big men is a curious one. Obviously Blatche developed quite a bit, and he came directly from high school. McGee hasn't developed as much, but it's early yet. According to the Wiz, at least, the kid is actually still growing. Mixed in with the asthma, he's probably doing as well as could be expected.

Take Dwight Howard. He came out of HS and had an immediate impact. A third of the way into his first year, NBA coaches were calling him the best natural rebounder to enter the league in years. Even so, he lacked other skills -- an offensive game, for instance -- that after six full seasons, he still doesn't have. All that coaching by Pat Ewing and somehow, the most talented center in the NBA hasn't mastered a simple go-to offensive move.

And Howard, who shot 67% from the line his first season, last year shot a sizzling 59%. If he'd hit 75%, as Ewing did for his career, he'd have scored another 130 points.

I suspect we hear calls for a big man coach mainly because other teams have them. "Hey," the media cries, "are we being shortchanged?" (A) We don't have a big man coach, (B) our big men aren't that good, therefore (C) a big man coach would make them a lot better. The discussion doesn't go much deeper than that.

It should.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Some of us here think any move other than trading for Lebron or his likes is wrong.If we do not like basketball there are lot of blog areas, if we realy have a problem on EG ,Flip and TEd ,there are others we can pick.
I have said it several times,why are we promoting negatives to the extent of wishing Wall to have season ending injury?
I think the real curse of this ball club is having you here.
Yi is transfered to wizard with 300,000 expense and rental of trade exception for a year.Washington get paid 3 milion of the 4.5 trade exception and also the 1.2 million of Qross salary.There is no loss except that we can not use our mid level trade exception this year.Why do we need it this year? we still have BH trade exception,veteran minimum and 9 million cup space.I say it is a briliant action to bring him and try him here for a season.The only problem with him is he has a tendency to wach when others are hasling,hopefully he will get it,if not he will be back to china.He might not be Dirk but it is ovious he has a talent.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 11, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Delusional!!! they can print all the bull they want on Yi. It is obvious the guys game is not NBA material. beyond size and skills, an effective NBA player needs to have key intangibles. one intangible is aggressiveness. another is confidence. I question Yi's overall skill level, but i surely know Yi lacks in aggressiveness. he might be confident enough to be a key player for China, but he's not confident nor aggressive enough to be an effective NBA player.

Posted by: oknow1 | July 11, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Yi's success is going to depend largely on how Wall is able to get him the rock.

When the ball gets to Gilby, lets hope he doesn't become a black hole again.

Wall's game will stall if Gilby tries to be a facilitator.

Although, I doubt, with Gilby's knee, that we'll see him running around screens effectively like Ray Allen or Rip.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

People have to remember Yi is only 22. This guy will get better. The problme the Wiz have is they don't have a big man coach. McGee under the current coaches has taken a step back as Blatche did originally. How come it's so hard for the Wiz to get a real big man coach.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 11, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse


Yi 22? About 4 years ago.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yi is an exceptional athlete, he's just not a good player and he's not going to ever be one. That's how a 7ft guy who can allegedly shoot is on his 3rd team in 3yrs. In China against vastly inferior competition, he would slash and dunk while also shooting from all over. Was known to be aggressive and have some dog in him (unlike Yao), he gets here and plays like he's scared of people with tattoos. Whether in the nba or international, he's never excelled when faced with competition his own size. And that's that on him, a middling player.

EG and Flip are just doing standard company PR talk that EVERY team does.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Yi is an exceptional athlete, he's just not a good player and he's not going to ever be one. That's how a 7ft guy who can allegedly shoot is on his 3rd team in 3yrs. In China against vastly inferior competition, he would slash and dunk while also shooting from all over. Was known to be aggressive and have some dog in him (unlike Yao), he gets here and plays like he's scared of people with tattoos. Whether in the nba or international, he's never excelled when faced with competition his own size. And that's that on him, a middling player.

EG and Flip are just doing standard company PR talk that EVERY team does.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse "

If Yi's got the tools, then it's up to the coaching to coach him up.

Have we heard whether any of the big men on the team are being sent to the Newell big man camp? No. Too expensive?

Yi's success will be based on what the coaches ask him to do, the type of offense that is run, and the how the PG gets him the ball.

Yi's working on what, his 3rd coach so far in 3 years of NBA ball?

These Euro and Asian players aren't used to the physical game. They're used to playing the cerebral and passing game.

They'll have to learn quick to adapt to the NBA, but nevertheless, a big man with some skills will always find room on a roster.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If we do not like basketball there are lot of blog areas, if we realy have a problem on EG ,Flip and TEd ,there are others we can pick.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 11, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

gtefferra,

Okay I pick...

Kevin Pritchard instead of Ernie

Mike Budenholzer instead of Flip

Steve Bisciotti instead of Ted

Thanks I wish came true...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"In China against vastly inferior competition, he would slash and dunk while also shooting from all over. Was known to be aggressive and have some dog in him (unlike Yao), he gets here and plays like he's scared of people with tattoos. Whether in the nba or international, he's never excelled when faced with competition his own size. And that's that on him, a middling player.

EG and Flip are just doing standard company PR talk that EVERY team does.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse ""

Taking a parallel example, with regard to Yi being afraid of people with tattoos, a lot of these players with tattoos have no skills whatsoever as a big man, but instead, get by in the NBA based on just hustle and garbage play. When watching a lot of these guys with tattoos, you wonder if they'd even be in the NBA if not for their size, because they have absolutely no skill. It's ridiculous how someone like Ben Wallace can be a good rebounder and physical player but has no ability to shoot a stupid free throw.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe part of the problem for big men coming over from international play to the NBA is the change from the trapezoidal lane. I know it's an adjustment going the other way, too.

The NBA key is 16 ft wide at all points, while the FIBA key is 3.7 feet wider at the base and 4.2 feet narrower at the FT line. That encourages big men to stay farther away from the basket and to develop a face-up game out by the FT line. I read that Tim Duncan has often complained about the difficulties in making the transition. I've also heard that FIBA is considering changing its lane to more closely resemble the NBA's.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

".....Yi can play three positions, and Saunders won't attempt to put a label on him......" MIKE LEE

A jack of all trades? A master of...........NONE!

Posted by: glawrence007 | July 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

glawrence007

But he's a versatile player and isn't that what they told us about Foye last year and look at how well he worked out?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

A jack of all trades? A master of...........NONE!

Posted by: glawrence007

Yi's a stretch 4 that's big enough and athletic enough to play different positions depending on the match up. His role doesn't change with his position. He will still be used to stretch the floor.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 11, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"But he's a versatile player and isn't that what they told us about Foye last year and look at how well he worked out?Posted by: bulletsfan78"

I think there's a misconception that Foye was a big flop last season. But if you look more closely, you can see he was about where we might have predicted he'd be.

Example: in '08-'09 in Minnesota, he averaged 16 points. But that was in 35.6 minutes per game, with 61 starts. With the Wiz, he started 38 times and averaged about 12 fewer minutes. For a scorer, that's enough to explain a six point dip in scoring average. Or think of it this way: in the Twin Cities, he took almost a thousand shots; in DC, a little over six hundred. And in Minnesota he shot more than twice as many 3 pointers.

Foye is one of those players whose production fluctuates pretty much in direct relationship to his minutes and to the number of threes he shoots. Same thing with his assists -- more minutes, more assists. But he's never been primarily an assists guy.

Defensively, he gives you a decent effort. He's not good against quicksilver PGs, but he's strong enough to defend SGs, which is an asset in a combo player.

I think the gripe against Foye is that he wasn't the player the team needed -- a dominant scorer who could step in for Gilbert as well as run the offense when called for. That's essentially the same gripe you hear about Miller -- once the season fell apart, he failed to take over the scoring burden. I don't know why anybody would have expected them to do so, but apparently many did.

There are players who suffered sudden unexpected declines in performance after they get traded, but I don't think Foye and Miller qualify for that group.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"These Euro and Asian players aren't used to the physical game. They're used to playing the cerebral and passing game."

I find that to be a stereotypical load of bs that gets thrown around way too often in place of actual bball analysis. The Asian players arent used to ANY game. Those leagues were on their first legs even just 5yrs ago. To make it sound like they are over there playing some amazing form of cerebral, fundamental ball while Americans engage in just brute force and sheer athleticism is total garbage.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I find that to be a stereotypical load of bs that gets thrown around way too often in place of actual bball analysis. The Asian players arent used to ANY game. Those leagues were on their first legs even just 5yrs ago. To make it sound like they are over there playing some amazing form of cerebral, fundamental ball while Americans engage in just brute force and sheer athleticism is total garbage.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Whether you want to admit to it or not, that's your issue. Those asian players focus is on fundamentals. Nobody said that they are any sort of "amazing form of" anything. What a lot of these american players need to focus on, especially the ones jumping into the league after the first year of college, is to get some idea of fundamentals. All they did while growing up in junior high and high school is to play one on one and dunk over people.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the gripe against Foye is that he wasn't the player the team needed -- a dominant scorer who could step in for Gilbert as well as run the offense when called for. That's essentially the same gripe you hear about Miller -- once the season fell apart, he failed to take over the scoring burden. I don't know why anybody would have expected them to do so, but apparently many did.


Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yea Ernie, so why is he still the GM?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i'm sure Chris Paul spent his life dunking over people. And if only Ray Allen could shoot like an Asian leaguer, boy what a career he could have had.

btw, Yi is 7ft and an excellent athlete. So clearly whatever is stopping him from being an elite nba player has nothing to do with him being undersized or slow. By your estimation he should be the total package, a big guy skilled in all the fundamentals so lacking here.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I think the gripe against Foye is that he wasn't the player the team needed -- a dominant scorer who could step in for Gilbert as well as run the offense when called for. That's essentially the same gripe you hear about Miller -- once the season fell apart, he failed to take over the scoring burden. I don't know why anybody would have expected them to do so, but apparently many did.


Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse "

Which makes the Yi trade and the follow on hype so not believable. Like I said, if EG thinks Yi is such a good acquisition, then put your money where your mouth is and sign him to an extension. EG is the master of drafting or acquiring dudes, and then either trading them later for more dudes that will be traded, or letting them walk.

EG is so lucky Les BouleS got the first pick b/c otherwise, he'd actually have the pressure to pick someone else besides Wall.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

but Miller was a career 15pt/night scorer when he signed. Was perfectly reasonable for people to expect him to carry a big part of the scoring burden once things fell apart. Or at least to average his career numbers on a team where he could take as many shots as he liked and was in fact being encouraged to do so.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"yeah, i'm sure Chris Paul spent his life dunking over people. And if only Ray Allen could shoot like an Asian leaguer, boy what a career he could have had.

btw, Yi is 7ft and an excellent athlete. So clearly whatever is stopping him from being an elite nba player has nothing to do with him being undersized or slow. By your estimation he should be the total package, a big guy skilled in all the fundamentals so lacking here.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse "

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think neither CP or Ray Allen are tatted up. While you can come up with a few players who probably didn't dunk his way through jr. high, high school, and college, there are probably 8 more who did for every one you can figure out.

BTW, it's not just whether the dude has the skills or the athletic ability. In the NBA, the winners are those who have a solid scheme and players who share. Clearly neither the Bucks nor Nets had any of that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why you need to make excuses for Yi, dude has been given the keys to car since he's been in the league and simply hasnt been able to make a dent. Whatever scheme you think was lacking didnt stop Charlie Villanueva from excelling on the same team playing the same position and with fewer opportunities.

The lousy thing about acquiring Yi is that by if some miracle he excels we'll be in a position of having to pay him to stay.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The lousy thing about acquiring Yi is that by if some miracle he excels we'll be in a position of having to pay him to stay.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:10 PM

Ridiculous comment, dude.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the gripe against Foye is that he wasn't the player the team needed -- a dominant scorer who could step in for Gilbert as well as run the offense when called for. That's essentially the same gripe you hear about Miller -- once the season fell apart, he failed to take over the scoring burden. I don't know why anybody would have expected them to do so, but apparently many did.


Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yea Ernie, so why is he still the GM?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Ditto that. With Miller likely to sign w/ the Heat (he may have already signed ??) and Foye gone out west, the #5 pick in last year's draft was completely wasted. That's a huge failure from the front office.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"watch some of his new teammates workout with wannabes and neverwases on the practice court" for whatever reason micheal lee saying that really bothers me. Why do you gotta put down those dudes theres no point whatsover to do that. I hate how unathletic sports writers who probably didnt even have the courage to try out in highschool or never made it are so accustomed to putting down people they know nothing about. I like wilbon but he is a pathetic ( in my opinion) judge of talent for spending so much time involved in watching sports. well theres my rant let me know what you think?

Posted by: goldbag | July 11, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous comment, dude.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:12 PM

why? i thought he could sign elsewhere after this season.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Ditto that. With Miller likely to sign w/ the Heat (he may have already signed ??) and Foye gone out west, the #5 pick in last year's draft was completely wasted. That's a huge failure from the front office.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 1:13 PM

Shipping out the no.2 overall pick (Beasley) in the draft for a second rounder as Heat did is pretty bad too. I guess getting Wade, Bosh and James covers up a lot of sins.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

why? i thought he could sign elsewhere after this season.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:16 PM

What's wrong with paying guys to stay who excel?

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure why you need to make excuses for Yi, dude has been given the keys to car since he's been in the league and simply hasnt been able to make a dent. Whatever scheme you think was lacking didnt stop Charlie Villanueva from excelling on the same team playing the same position and with fewer opportunities.

The lousy thing about acquiring Yi is that by if some miracle he excels we'll be in a position of having to pay him to stay.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse "

Nobody's making excuses for Yi. Yi has the skill set, but for him to do well, he needs to be in a system that puts him in a position to succeed. There are even more players in the NBA who have no skills whatsoever (a lot of them with tats) and are only in the league as scrappers.

LOL! In what instance has Yi been given the "keys to the car?" He comes over here with a language issue, and the Bucks let him go after 1 season for Richard Jefferson. Of course, Redd and Bogut were the top dudes with the keys for the car there.

In NJ, things were so good there that they fired the coach last season. Yi was there for two seasons where Devin Harris, VC, and Lopez

Do your research before you start yapping about "given the keys to the car."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever scheme you think was lacking didnt stop Charlie Villanueva from excelling on the same team playing the same position and with fewer opportunities.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse "

Charlie has a spanish last name, but guess what? His English is very good. It also helped him that he played for UConn.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Yi started 49 games his rookie year, 152 games out of a possible 179 for his 3yr career. That's as much opportunity as any player gets, he just hasnt been able to do much with it as of yet. Perhaps you should try doing some research.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"I think the gripe against Foye is that he wasn't the player the team needed -- a dominant scorer who could step in for Gilbert as well as run the offense when called for. That's essentially the same gripe you hear about Miller -- once the season fell apart, he failed to take over the scoring burden. I don't know why anybody would have expected them to do so, but apparently many did.Posted by: Samson151
"Yea Ernie, so why is he still the GM?"
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Probably the owner thinks that at the time it was made, the trade for Foye and Miller was a very reasonable one. And he likewise thinks that expectations that were placed on the two players in the absence of Gilbert, Jamison, and Butler -- i.e., to carry the scoring burden -- were not.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Charlie has a spanish last name, but guess what? His English is very good. It also helped him that he played for UConn.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 1:22 PM

But Yi played in one of your precious fundamentals leagues while UConn players have tats. Maybe you should get your stories straight before spouting off.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The record (as I see it) is that foreign players always take 2-3 years to adjust to the NBA. The cultural changes, the changes in food and travel and lifestyle, et cetera are tough particularly at the highest level of basketball.

This is a smart gamble. Yi might be what he has appeared to be: a marginal NBA player who isn't tough enough and doesn't have a real position. Or he may emerge as a top 10 big man. Or something in between.

They've got a free year to find out. It's a good gamble.

Posted by: SteveMG | July 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"dude has been given the keys to car since he's been in the league and simply hasnt been able to make a dent. posted by divi3"

The goal is to make a dent in the car?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"the #5 pick in last year's draft was completely wasted. That's a huge failure from the front office.Posted by: randysbailin"

I suppose they could have taken Ricky. That was the consensus opinion, after all.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

the rights to Ricky Menudo are still worth more than what the organization has to show for the trade now.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Looked at a little footage of one of the Wiz practices on NBA.com. Two things stood out. McGee looks a little thicker, but was still jumping ut of the gym and Wall made EVERYBODY look like they were going half speed. The amazing thing was he didn't even look like he going all out. Looking forward to tonight's summer league tilt.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey, guys! Since I dont have NBATV is there another channel or an online site that will show the game tonight?

Posted by: demonj21 | July 11, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Shipping out the no.2 overall pick (Beasley) in the draft for a second rounder as Heat did is pretty bad too. I guess getting Wade, Bosh and James covers up a lot of sins.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

On balance, I'd say the Heat made out pretty well this week. If you want to send a message to a player, trade him to Minnesota, probably the worst destination in the NBA. Once LeBron and Bosh showed up, Beasley became completely expendable.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Since I dont have NBATV is there another channel or an online site that will show the game tonight?

Posted by: demonj21

-----

CSN's carrying the Wiz game.

Posted by: EestiLaps | July 11, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

On balance, I'd say the Heat made out pretty well this week. If you want to send a message to a player, trade him to Minnesota, probably the worst destination in the NBA. Once LeBron and Bosh showed up, Beasley became completely expendable.

Posted by: randysbailin

Sending a message to Beasley had NOTHING to do with his being moved this week. Minnesota was the only team willing to take him. Beasley was expendable before the Heat got LeBron and Bosh since, by all accounts, they were feverishly trying to move him well prior to "The Decision". The simple truth is Riley swung for the fences on Beasley and struck out. Although in fairness to Riley, I hear he never liked the kid and didn't want to draft him anyway. Sorta like Michael Jordan being rumored to like Pau Gasol but nevertheless drafting one Kwame Brown. It was a colossal mistake any way you look at it.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Shipping out the no.2 overall pick (Beasley) in the draft for a second rounder as Heat did is pretty bad too. I guess getting Wade, Bosh and James covers up a lot of sins.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

That's okay the HEat resigned Wade and added James and Bosh...

while Ernie got Hinrich, Seraphin and Yi?

Give Ernie a raise?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

That's okay the HEat resigned Wade and added James and Bosh...

while Ernie got Hinrich, Seraphin and Yi?

Give Ernie a raise?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 2:29 PM

Doesn't in any way, shape or form mitigate the fact that Riley blew it on Beasley. Next.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, guys! Since I dont have NBATV is there another channel or an online site that will show the game tonight?

Posted by: demonj21

NBA.com should have the game either live or after the fact. You might have to pay for "NBA broadband" though to get it.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"dude has been given the keys to car since he's been in the league and simply hasnt been able to make a dent. posted by divi3"

The goal is to make a dent in the car?

Posted by: Samson151

Thank you.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"The simple truth is Riley swung for the fences on Beasley and struck out"

Swinging for the fences is signing players to max or near max deals like he just did. As bad a missing on a high pick is, it's a cheap mistake that doesnt hamstring the organization in any way- unlike having $10s of millions committed to a bum player no one else wants would.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Swinging for the fences is signing players to max or near max deals like he just did. As bad a missing on a high pick is, it's a cheap mistake that doesnt hamstring the organization in any way- unlike having $10s of millions committed to a bum player no one else wants would.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 2:50 PM

That's your definition of swinging for the fences. My definition is having to sign a max contract to Bosh to replace PF Michael Beasley, the no. 2 overall pick in the draft. So you see, blowing that pick on Beasley was not cheap. If Beasley had turned out as expected (and I'm sure we both agree that expectations were high, given his draft status), they could have kept Beasley at PF (with his "cheap" contract) and used that max contract on someone else at a different position or on multiple players since they've got a lot of roster spots to fill. I appreciate your view on it, though.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorta like Michael Jordan being rumored to like Pau Gasol but nevertheless drafting one Kwame Brown. It was a colossal mistake any way you look at it.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Kwame pick was obviously a colossal bust and the Wiz were able to redeem it a bit by bringing in Butler, but I wonder what the last 8 years of Wizards ball would've been like w/ Gasol on the squad. We'll never know.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"the rights to Ricky Menudo are still worth more than what the organization has to show for the trade now.Posted by: divi3"

So what? The Wiz have a new owner, a new strategy. And a month or so back they got much luckier than we expected.

Meanwhile, some folks still hang on to a resentment...

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I can see why people are upset about the Yi trade. Bringing him might have prevented us from being able to give 5 years / $35M to Travis Outlaw.................

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"The Kwame pick was obviously a colossal bust and the Wiz were able to redeem it a bit by bringing in Butler, but I wonder what the last 8 years of Wizards ball would've been like w/ Gasol on the squad. We'll never know.Posted by: randysbailin"

Speaking of hanging on to resentments: what's the statute of limitations?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of hanging on to resentments: what's the statute of limitations?

Posted by: Samson151

Well, considering last week someone was complaining about the Mark Price trade and the '96 draft.....You have to ask?

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"The Kwame pick was obviously a colossal bust and the Wiz were able to redeem it a bit by bringing in Butler, but I wonder what the last 8 years of Wizards ball would've been like w/ Gasol on the squad. We'll never know.Posted by: randysbailin"

Speaking of hanging on to resentments: what's the statute of limitations?
--------------------------------------------------
Considering that Gasol has consecutive championships and is a central piece on the Lakers, the statute of limitations has not expired.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Considering that Gasol has consecutive championships and is a central piece on the Lakers, the statute of limitations has not expired.Posted by: randysbailin"

LOL you may have qualified for RoY ('Resentment of the Year') with that one.

Except for that guy with the Mark Price grudge, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Yi is a big bust and everyone knows it.

He is an average dribbler, he can't shoot, and is fragile as could be

No thanks that he makes an actual impact

Posted by: Bious | July 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Yi is a big bust and everyone knows it.

He is an average dribbler, he can't shoot, and is fragile as could be

No thanks that he makes an actual impact

Posted by: Bious | July 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse "

Based on EG's history of acquiring players, you're probably right. Given that, he's really no worse than the rest of the garbage on the team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"I can see why people are upset about the Yi trade. Bringing him might have prevented us from being able to give 5 years / $35M to Travis Outlaw.................

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse "

Actually, you're wrong. There was plenty of money under the cap to afford Outlaw if they wanted him. Their cap room went from $7 mil to $9 mil.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"But Yi played in one of your precious fundamentals leagues while UConn players have tats. Maybe you should get your stories straight before spouting off.

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse "

I guess being able to communicate with your teammates and the coaching isn't important in your basketball world. And, being on 2 different teams in 3 seasons has no impact. Think before spouting off.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Wizards,for better or worse,have taken Yi Jianlian, Washingtonians should prepare for blog posters from China and East Asia. While Yi has not the impact of Yao Ming, there still should be plenty of new posts; the Houston Rockets' excellent columnist Jonathan Feigen is widely read in China; his blog being translated daily into Chinese, eliciting many comments often in rather broken English (but how good is your Chinese, btw?).

Many Rockets players (Battier, Hayes, maybe Scola) have gotten shoe deals from Chinese companies and often visit. They have also become better known in China than in America (and surely more respected). Now if Yi is successful, that will rub off on other Wizard players and the team in general; so it is in everyone's interest that Yi succeeds.

He has scored more than 30 a game at times, so that is the potential everyone is talking about. However, I agree with the assessments that it is psychological; I thing anyone would be initially cowed by the size, strength, and speed of the NBA big men, and it takes time (3 years?) to get used to it. It is true that in China, players are rote drilled; that is the reason for Yi and Yao's picture-perfect jumpshot form. But just because of the rote drilling, there is not the creativity of the good American player. Europeans have also been criticized for being "wooden" but solid in fundamentals (they all are good free-throw shooters -- a rote drill). Dirk arrived at 19 and took 2-3 years to acclimate; we can hope that Yi will do the same. As others have observed, it is worth the gamble.

Posted by: robtaipei1 | July 12, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if this dude turns out to be just average he is going to be playing back up anyway, not a bad gamble either he breaks out or stays average.

Posted by: JaY080 | July 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards stripped their team and are in the mold of an expansion team starting to try and ascend to respectability.

That means drafting and developing Wall, but it also means making deals for players that may have physical talent but were not put in the best position to be successful by their former clubs.

No free agent of note is going to join a team that won 20 something games, so the front office has to be creative.

I don't have a problem trying out potential diamonds in the rough while the club is continuing to add blue chippers in the draft.

The Wizards NEED to be in the lottery again next season to grab another core player, this time for the front court.

While the team wins its 25-30 games next season, why not give Yi, Booker, Thornton, and others a chance to play?

Would you rather go after 30 year old players who have no upside and who want guaranteed money out into the future?

So the team can win 5-10 more games?

What's the point?

Either you are moving forward in earnest or you are regressing.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | July 12, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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