Had enough of Yi Jianlian yet? I’ve got some good news and bad news. Bad news first. According to a report by the China Daily, and a story on the FIBA website, Yi sat out of Thursday’s game against Turkey with an injury to his Achilles tendon.
China’s coach, Bob Donewald, said that the Achilles was “inflamed a little bit,” and that Yi would be getting an MRI on it. Donewald also called Yi a “warrior,” because he played hurt after sustaining the injury Wednesday against Russia. Surely cringe-worthy news for Wizards brass. Those darn international competitions.
Now for the good news, or actually, bad news depending on how you look at it. Even though China went 1-4 in Group C at the FIBA Worlds, they advanced to the knock-out stage (four out of six teams from each of the four groups do). The Ivory Coast, whom China beat, and Puerto Rico, who beat China, were the two teams from the group sent home. All three finished with a 1-4 record, but China held the three-team tie-breaker.
On Thursday morning (on the East Coast), the Ivory Coast beat Puerto Rico for their first ever win in a FIBA tournament. China was aware of this result heading into their 2 pm Thursday afternoon game against Turkey. Knowing they would advance regardless likely contributed to Yi resting; China lost to Turkey 87-40.
China will play Lithuania on September 7th. If they win that game (unlikely, Lithuania went 5-0 in Group D), they will face the winner of Argentina and Brazil. I’d love to see Yi against either of those front lines.
In other news …
Be sure and read what John Townsend wrote about Yi in China’s game versus Puerto Rico. More to come …
Here are a couple Russian basketball coaches. They remind me of…
A) KGB agents trying to go undercover on a spy mission in Hawaii in the late-80s.
B) Actually, those shirts aren’t too covert, (but almost ironically so — hey, side fact: did you know that NBA ref Bob Delaney, the one who went undercover against the mob, his ‘mob name’ was “Bobby Covert”), so maybe these two are actually camp counselors for some Russian camp that entails all one would imagine it to be (in a Russian sense).