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Yi Jianlian signs with NBA's L.A. Lakers

Reporter: Luo Gang 丨 CCTV.com

08-23-2016 16:16 BJT

The Chinese men’s basketball team had a rough time at the Rio Games, losing all five of its group games. One player who did stand out for the squad was Yi Jianlian. The big man averaged more than 20 points and six-and-a-half rebounds during the tournament.

That play got the attention of some NBA teams, and now the Chinese center is back in the association after signing a deal with the L.A. Lakers. The team making the announcement today, and reports claim it is for one year U.S.$8 million.

Lakers G.M. Mitch Kupchak made the announcement on the team’s website. His statement said: “We’re excited to have a player of his worldwide accomplishments. We look forward to bringing him to training camp and hopefully having him make an impact on our team.”

The last time Yi was in the NBA was in 2012 when he played for the Dallas Mavericks. Yi spent the past four seasons playing with his old team, the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the CBA. He helped it win the league title in 2012-2013 season. He also earned four straight CBA regular season MVPs, averaging 26.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game over that time.

Yi has also performed well for the national team. During the 2015 Asian Championship, he was the high-scorer in semifinal of the tournament, as China disposed of Iran. He was also influential in the title contest as China defeated the Philippines 78-67 to win the Asian title and earn China a spot at the Rio Games. Yi was named tournament Most Valuable Player for his performance.

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