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Thursday Bucks Notes

  • Video highlights: Game recap / Yi Highlights
  • Thanks to Henry at TrueHoop for the kind words.  If Brew Hoop can be the Bucks equivalent of even a drunken man's TrueHoop, we should be OK.
  • Bucks bloggers react to the opener: Ty at Bucks Diary and Brett at The Bratwurst.
  • The JS has a recap of Yi's debut.  One of the encouraging things of the first month has been seeing the other Bucks work hard to ease Yi's transition, with Mo Williams, Bogut, and Redd the most obvious examples.

    "I told him tonight to just be encouraged by it. We kind of threw him to the wolves tonight, man. He'll bounce back. Sometimes you have to learn by fire. He's going to be terrific."

    When the Bucks lineup was introduced before the game, Yi and Redd exchanged a short bow together.

    "We've got a little handshake, and it's a tribute to where he's from," Redd said. "We've connected."

    "That's my rookie, and I'm going to take care of him. We've all got his back. By midseason you'll see him getting his feet wet and his experience going up higher and higher."

  • Chris Mannix at SI has an exceptional piece on Yi's first month in America. Mannix followed Yi around a little bit and has some new details on what Yi has been doing as well as good stories from other foreign players like Dirk Nowitzki, Mehmet Okur, and Andrei Kirilenko.

    Yi, however, is alone. He was alone his first two weeks when he called the Residence Inn, a $190-per-night hotel in downtown Milwaukee, his home. And now he lives alone in the two-bedroom townhouse that he rents on the outskirts of Lake Michigan, just a short ride to the Bucks' practice facility in St. Francis.

    "I've been away from my family for a long time, [from] when I was with the national teams and playing professionally," Yi said. "I'm used to it."

    The silence and the solitude can be therapeutic. For the better part of his life, Yi has been a rock star, dating to his days on the Chinese junior national team and including the five years he spent with the Guangdong Tigers, a team he helped lead to three consecutive CBA titles. In Milwaukee, it is no different. Fans of all nationalities have embraced him. They clamor for him when he is on the bench and shout his name when he enters games. A half-dozen journalists representing a variety of Chinese media outlets are a constant presence, dutifully recording Yi's every movement. He gives interviews before games. He gives interviews after them. He gives interviews in the parking lot. He can't walk down a hallway without a cameraman nipping at his heels.

  • Truman Reed at Buck.com writes about the team's camp emphasis on chemistry. It seems clear the Bucks are a good group of guys who genuinely like each other, but now they need to bring that chemistry onto the court with them.

    "We've turned off the TVs off in our lockerroom," Krystkowiak revealed, "and we're asking our guys to get to know everybody."

    Krystkowiak publicized the ploy when asked what the Bucks coaches and players were doing to facilitate rookie forward Yi Jianlian's transition from China into the United States and from the Chinese Basketball Association into the National Basketball Association.

    "We've had a lot of talks and and lot of meetings on the differences between American and Chinese culture," Krystkowiak said. "I commented to our coaches the other day:'Who knows were Awvee Storey's from? Who knows where Andrew Bogut's from? Can you point it out on the map?'

    "Part of my thinking is I don't want to underestimate what Yi is dealing with, but at the same time, he's one of 15 guys with us. It's our job to integrate all of them."

  • Yi talks to NBA.com.  I don't know exactly what to expect from him this year, but I can guarantee you that Yi will not make the all-interview team.
  • Over at the Yao Mania forum they've got pictures of Yi's new ride: a black Range Rover.