Yi Jianlian returns to the NBA, heads to Los Angeles Lakers

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for China, following their winless exit at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Well, at least not for Yi Jianlian.

The only standout of the Chinese national team at the Rio Olympics has joined the Los Angeles Lakers, the club announced.

It comes after Yi averaged a solid  20.4 points in five games in Rio, ranking third behind only Croatia’s Bojan Bogdanovic (25.3) and Australia’s Patty Mills (21.3). Despite his efforts, it wasn’t enough as China, once again fell to a 0-5 mark, like they did at the London Olympics in 2012.

The versatile 6’11” forward spent five seasons in the NBA, being drafted at number six in 2007 for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has enjoyed stints with New Jersey, Washington and Dallas whee in total, he averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting just 40.9 percent.

Yi has spent the last four seasons with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Guangdong Southern Tigers, whom he also played for from 2002-07 and during the 2011 lockout.

He began his career there when he was just 15-years-old and has since compiled a decorated resume that includes eight All-Star selections, four championships, two Domestic MVPs and two Finals MVPs.

Since returning to China, Yi has averaged more than 23 points in each season, including last year when he put up 26.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.3 blocks per night.