Yi Jianlian (Chinese: 易建联; pinyin: Yì Jiànlián, born October 27, 1984) is a Chinese basketball player who currently plays for Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He has also played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Dallas Mavericks.
Yi joined the Guangdong Southern Tigers beginning with the 2002-03 season, and subsequently won the CBA Rookie of the Year award. In his first five years with Guangdong, the team won three CBA titles. Yi also played with the Chinese national basketball team at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics as well as the 2006 and 2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
In the 2007 NBA draft, he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as the sixth overall pick. Initially, Yi declined to sign with Milwaukee for several months before agreeing to a contract with them on 29 August 2007. He later played for three other NBA teams until returning to the Guangdong Southern Tigers in 2012.
On 6 January 2012, Yi was signed by the Dallas Mavericks to a one-year contract when he returned to the National Basketball Association after one season with Guangdong Southern Tigers. He was immediately assigned to Dallas’s D-League affiliate team, the Texas Legends. Yi benefited from the new collective bargaining agreement rules which allowed players with more than two years of NBA experience to be assigned to the D-League with the players’ consent. On 9 January 2012, after playing two games for the Texas Legends, averaging 23 points per game and 12 rebounds per game, he was recalled by Dallas. The team faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs and in game 3 of the playoff series, Yi played in his first NBA playoffs game in which he scored two points for the team in five minutes.
Career highlights and awards
4× CBA champion (2004, 2005, 2006, 2013)
2× CBA Finals MVP (2006, 2013)
4× CBA Regular Season Domestic MVP (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
8× CBA All-Star (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
2× CBA Slam Dunk leader (2015, 2016)
2× FIBA Asia Championship MVP (2011, 2015)
FIBA Asia Championship
Gold medal – first place 2005 Doha Team
Silver medal – second place 2009 Tianjin Team
Gold medal – first place 2011 Wuhan Team
Gold medal – first place 2015 Changsha Team
Gold medal – first place 2006 Doha Team