I wrote this for Score a couple of days after the draft and it's really relevant now.
Move over LeBron, there’s a new candidate for Global Icon and his name is Yi Jianlian. He wanted to get drafted and play in the NBA, but apparently there were a list of cities that he had a preference to play in. Unfortunately for him, the city that drafted him which is Milwaukee is not one of them. He wouldn’t even work out for them. Some say he just wants to go somewhere that there’s a large Asian population, but that’s nonsense. He wanted to go to a big city for the same reasons most players want to go to big cities. There’s more exposure, entertainment and opportunity just to name a few things. All of the above can lead to more money which is one of the main driving forces behind this desire. If he’s just looking for a place to play basketball that has a large Chinese population, then shouldn’t he just stay in China? I’m almost certain they have the largest Chinese population, but I’d have to check. He might not show up in Milwaukee so they’ll eventually trade him somewhere more to his liking. However, if I were running the Bucks I wouldn’t trade him anywhere! I know it’s kind of spiteful, but I’d say to him “you’ll play for us, or you won’t play in the NBA for at least the next 3 years”. It’s just that simple. I don’t know why any team would let an unproven player back them into a corner like that. You’re supposed to play for the team that drafts you, that’s how a draft works. You don’t get to go wherever you want to go when you start your NBA career. You don’t get that privilege until free agency a few years down the line. In other words, you have to put in your time and earn it. They should be happy any NBA team wants a 7 footer whose age no one can agree on anyway. Basically, Yi and his people need to get over themselves and just be happy he has this opportunity.
Just to expound upon this a little more. Screw Yi! I wish his team would block him and then when he re-enters the draft no one picks him! Of course this will not play out like that, but a girl can dream! You know the Sternbot isn't going to step in and stand up for Milwaukee because he's trying his hardest to get the NBA in China. He has too many business interests outside of the States to do the right thing here. He's always flexin and tryna show people who's really running ish, but I bet he won't flex about this. He's going to let Yi and his handlers force Milwaukee to trade him and he'll just go on like nothing ever happened. The prisoners are running the asylum right now and the Commish and the owners better recognize and put their damn foot down and remind these players who's writing checks.