This Should Be A Great Career Move

July 3, 2007 – 4:35 pm by Ryan Phillips

With the sixth pick in this year’s NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks earned the right to select whoever they deemed the best player available. That player was Yi Jianlian, the 7-foot Chinese forward who intrigued most scouts with his unique skill-set. The Bucks obviously feel he’s a good fit for their system and will be a great addition to the franchise. Apparently Yi and his management don’t agree.

Yes we have another athlete going Eli Manning, as Yi and his handlers want to see him end up somewhere with a large Asian population, which would help him settle in and provide better endorsement opportunities. I guess they see Yao down in Houston with its booming Asian population and think a situation like that would be best for their guy. Because when I think Asian community, I think Houston Texas.

Yi claimed he was “totally surprised” when he was taken by the Bucks, because they weren’t even allowed access to his workouts. His agent, Zhao Gang, then went on to say they are looking at trade possibilities (rumors persist that Golden State is interested).

“We started to contact teams that had shown an interest in Yi right after the Draft. His representatives and I won’t sit here and do nothing just because he was picked by Milwaukee. We are considering Yi’s future at the Bucks and are looking at trade possibilities.”

Wow, it sure sounds like they have a lot of faith that their kid can survive the rigors of an NBA schedule. In fact, this situation has gotten so bad that Yi and his representatives haven’t even met with Bucks team officials yet, despite receiving a hand written letter from owner Herb Kohl, requesting a meeting. Yi’s representatives obviously think they hold all the power and can dictate where he goes.

Here’s the problem: It shouldn’t be their call where he goes, that’s the point of the draft. Teams select the players they like, not the other way around. Players shouldn’t be allowed to hold a franchise hostage just because they don’t like where they end up. First of all, Yi is disrespecting the league by not going with where he got taken. If everyone decided where they played, then every player would come out and just say “I’ll only sign with the Spurs.” That’s ridiculous. When Yi and his representatives made decided to make him eligible for the draft, they knew what they were getting into. He didn’t go to one of his top choices? Tough. This kid has done nothing on the NBA level, he has no leverage and personally I hope the Bucks hold on to him and teach him and all future NBA players a lesson. Don’t come into the draft until you’re ready to go anywhere. This is a horrible career move for Yi, Steve Francis did the same thing to the Vancouver Grizzlies, and look how well that turned out for him.

Yao Ming even sounded off on the situation, saying “Yi might feel a but lonely in this situation. I felt the same way when I first landed in Houston. Yi’s business relationship with his agency might be more complicated that we expected. But I’m not in a position to give any advice to him about dealing with the agency.”

Translation: Grow up and deal with it, you’re making us all look bad … punk.

As I stated before, Yao doesn’t exactly play in an Asian mecca, yet he’s all over TV in tons of commercials and his games are on ESPN and TNT all the time despite not even being in the top tier of the Western Conference. Eli Manning thought going to New York would make him a star and now he’s an average quarterback whose brother (playing in Indianapolis of all places) is one of the the biggest star athletes on the planet. If you’re talented, humble and have a great personality it won’t matter where you play, you’ll get your endorsement opportunities.

I guess I’m assuming Yi wants to be like Yao. Maybe he saw the busted chick Yao is marrying later this summer, and decided he wants to be nothing like him. Come on Yao, you had to marry that girl? What, there wasn’t some 5’3 Asian model you could make wish she’d never been born, on a nightly basis? Alright man, fine, it’s your life. Enjoy waking up next to that every morning. Yeesh.

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  1. 2 Responses to “This Should Be A Great Career Move”

  2. Eli’s situation isn’t comparable with Yi’s. The big difference was, at the time, the Chargers were known for holding out with their first round picks. They did it with Tomlinson, they did it with Jammer, and guess what? They did it with Rivers as well, so Eli and his people were right in that regard. Rivers should thank his lucky stars Brees tore his labrum in that last 2005 game, otherwise he would still be riding pine. I also wasn’t aware that Eli, at age 26, 3 years into his career, is resigned to being an “average” QB.

    Besides, Eli specifically didn’t want to play for the Chargers and ONLY the Chargers; I’ve read that Yi and his people had a list of only acceptable franchises for him.

    By Anonymous on Jul 4, 2007

  3. What Eli did was wrong, plain and simple. He put himself above the league, ask any veteran and they’ll tell you the same thing. You go where you’re drafted, that’s the way the league sets up the draft. He was a baby and whined, said the Chargers weren’t going anywhere, and look how it has worked out. The Chargers have gone 35-13 with two division titles, the Giants are 25-25. Nice call kid.

    And the Chargers were not planning on re-signing Brees after the 2005 season at the price he was going to ask. All of the front office was enamored with Rivers and everyone knew it.

    As for Miss Manning, yes I’d say a 73.2 rating is average at best. He’s gone 55.4, 75.9 and 77.0. So sure he’s improving, but he’s no better than average right now.

    By Rumors and on Jul 4, 2007

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