Chinese basketball player Yi Jianlian signed in Hong Kong Wednesday a multi-year contract with Milwaukee Bucks of the U.S. to kick off his career in NBA.
This is the fourth Chinese basketball player signing into a NBA team following Bater, Wang Zhizhi and Yao Ming.
"We are very excited to associate ourselves with Alian (nicked name for Yi Jianlian). He is an extraordinary person and a great basketball player," said Herb Kohl, owner of the Bucks, at a press conference after the contract had been signed behind door.
"Alian will be a great credit for NBA and of course for the Bucks," he said.
At the press conference, Yi said he was glad to join the Bucks and would do his best to meet new challenges ahead. "To play in NBA is my goal," he said.
Yi is expected to join the team for training camp that begins on October 1 at the Bucks Training Center in St. Francis, WI, said Larry Harris, general manager of the Bucks, pledging that the Bucks will do its most to make Yi the best basketball player.
Asked whether the contract contains any article to compensate Guangdong Tigers where Yi comes from, Harris said that the contract was a standard NBA one which does not mention the issue of compensation.
Yi has played professionally for the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) since 2002-03, when he was awarded Rookie of the Year honors. He has competed in the last five CBA Finals and won titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006, earning the Finals Most Valuable Player honors in 2006.
He competed for the Chinese National Team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.