The Los Angeles Lakers introduced Yi Jianlian to the L.A. media for the first time on Friday, three weeks after his official signing with the purple and gold. Yi was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft and played five seasons in the league before returning to China to play for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The Chinese star stood 7’0′ tall in front of a mass of reporters at the Lakers practice facility, alternating between English (video above) and Chinese (head here for video in Chinese) to appease questions from both the American and Asian media markets. Yi said he talked to head coach Luke Walton quite a bit over the summer, mainly about how he would fit into his system, although he’s uncertain whether he’ll play at the forward or center position, also stressing his ability to knock down threes and spread the floor.
He also talks about his impressions of the Lakers young core, after having worked out with the majority of his teammates at some point over the past two weeks. Yi said he’s always been confident that he would make a return to the NBA and embraces the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise.