I saw a post about Yi Jianlian spending five weeks this summer working with respected coach, analyst and trainer David Thorpe at the Pro Training Center on truth about it. He had some interesting things to say about Yi's time there. Heres the link to the full article http://www.truthaboutit.net/2010/08/discussing-the-fortunes-of-yi-jianlian-with-david-thorpe.html#more-9093
On the impression Yi made on the court there...
"In our gym he blew us away," the coach said. "We were told by his agent, Fegan, that we would be shocked by how athletic he was and we were. All my players in the gym were shocked. All the coaches were shocked. And I think he shocked himself."
"He was dunking everything, and beating guards down the floor, and stripping guards, and making plays full-court in transition with the ball in his hands. His strength coach, who is with him full-time, said he’s never seen him do that kind of stuff before."
On his attitude while there
. "He absolutely killed it. Never missed a workout, never missed a drill. He just gave himself to us in a way that a lot of players in his position wouldn’t necessarily do."
On being accepted by the other NBA players participating
"All of a sudden, his personality came out, and he became a fun guy to be around. He brought spirit to practice. He was just a different guy,"
On his versatility and playing with John Wall
"I think there are threes he can guard, but I don’t think it’s a smart thing to play him at the three," said Thorpe when I asked him about Jianlian’s positional versatility between the three, four and five spots. "I think he’s a face up four that can bang it down low a little bit. He’s very skilled with either hand." Thorpe said that around a third, half on some days, of the shots Yi practiced in Florida were left-handed shots.
"I think he should play a game like Rashard Lewis," said Thorpe, "Shoot the three, play a shot fake and attack game and spread the floor. He should be really, really effective in transition with John Wall because Yi is unbelievably fast."
"With John Wall, I would think they’ll really go up-tempo and spread the floor," speculated Thorpe on the game plan of Flip Saunders. "That’s exactly what Lian needs because he’s so fast, he’s so agile and he’s so skilled. You can throw it to him running full speed at the top of the key and he can put the ball down once and make a move and score."
Thorpe also says later that with Blatche still recovering the idea of a McGee and Yi frontline, while having potential as a pretty funny sounding nickname, Yi and Mr. McGee?, isnt ideal since neither of them has ever, well, you know, rebounded or played post defense consistently, or at all. Still this has to be encouraging and I wouldnt be surprised if Yi isnt a one year rental, but a long term piece of our return to relevance.