Yi Jianlian back in China after NBA journey
BEIJING (AFP) - Yi Jianlian has secured a one-year deal to return to his old club back home after the Chinese international failed to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the United States (US).
The move to Guangdong Tigers leaves no Chinese-born players in the US National Basketball Association (NBA), potentially threatening the league's efforts to build up its following in the huge Asian market.
The NBA became hugely popular in China during the nine-year career of iconic centre Yao Ming, who retired in 2011.
But Yi, a 2.13m power forward, never played a major role on court during his five-year NBA stint, averaging 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for four different clubs.