Former NBA No. 6 Overall Pick Announces Retirement

He was the 6th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, though he never came close to living up to that potential. Now, after being out of the NBA for over a decade, 7-footer Yi Jianlian is officially announcing his retirement. 

“Time flies; in the blink of an eye, basketball has been by my side for 21 years,” Yi wrote. “After much contemplation, I have made the decision to officially bring my basketball career to a close.

“… Farewell is not the end, but rather a new beginning. I will cherish the memories of the past while continuing to move forward, embracing new chapters in my life. Goodbye, my beloved basketball.”

In his debut season, in 2007, he tipped off against fellow countryman Yao Ming as his Milwaukee Bucks took on the Houston Rockets, to a record-shattering TV audience back in China of up to 200 million people.

After beginning his career with the Bucks, Jianlian moved on to New Jersey to play with the Nets for two seasons, then on to the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks. He returned to China in 2012 and has been playing for Guangdong ever since. He was a six-time champion there in the CBA.

His NBA numbers finished at 7.9 points per game and 4.9 rebounds in 22 minutes per contest. 

Photo: kris krüg from Vancouver, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons