Chinese basketball star Yi Jianlian made his NBA debut on October 31, playing against the Orlando Magic. The Milwaukee Bucks rookie managed 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks before fouling out. Orlando won the game 102-83.

Chinese basketball player Yi Jianlian makes NBA debut
Yi Jianlian in action against Orlando Magic (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

It is not a superb debut, but Yi’s performance was quite ok. The press and Chinese basketball fans are comparing him with another Chinese NBA star, Yao Ming, who failed to score a single point in his first NBA game… so Yi did make a relatively convincing start in NBA.

Despite a poor debut, Yao Ming has become an important player in the league. It is still remain to be seen if Yi Jianlian could match Yao’s performances and cultural impact, but both the US and Chinese media will be watching him closely for the NBA season.

One thing that Yi needs to address seriously is his foul trouble. He was fouled out again in his 2nd match, this time against Charlotte Bobcats on Friday… Milwaukee lost their 2nd game in a role.



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