Yi Jianlian had better get used to the lofty expectations. A lot of people on both sides of the Pacific are hoping that the talented 6-ft. 11-in. teenager will be the next Yao Ming. Ever since Yao electrified the National Basketball Association last season as a rookie fresh out of Shanghai, a slew of agents, scouts and shoe-company reps have been looking for a Chinese player who can follow the largeâ€”and lucrativeâ€”footsteps of one of the league's biggest draws. Yi wears size-18 shoes, just like Yao. But it is the glimmer of his vast potentialâ€”the explosive slam dunks, the boyish good looks, even the mystery surrounding his age (anywhere from 15 to 18, depending on whom you believe)â€”that has catapulted Yi beyond where Yao stood at this point in his career. The attention is a bit overwhelming for a shy kid who started playing ball only four years ago. "I do feel a lot of pressure," says Yi (pronounced Ee). "But what I need most is to learn and to practiceâ€”not to get distracted by being famous."
That quote summed it all up, to all those people who are lazy enough not to read 7 paragraphs at once.
And to consider he was born in 1987. He's only 15 years old, way TOO young to enter the draft as of now. He has a baby hook, smooth jumper and a reverse dunk. I love his potential. I love his game. He may be the next Ming--on his way to stardom.