Yao:Yi plays like Stoudemire

By JONATHAN FEIGEN (Houston Chronicle)
Updated: 2007-03-20 09:11

With several NBA scouts sending representatives to China to scout Yi Jianlian in the China Basketball Association finals, Rockets center Yao Ming offered his own, typically generous, scouting report.

"He is very close to a player who is in the NBA like I would say Amare Stoudemire," Yao said. "Yi is taller. He is almost seven-foot. He has a very nice touch, very athletic. He has everything (to be) a great player.

"From my experience, it is very important he plays in the summer league. The games played in the summer league I think will be good for him and for his team, whatever team drafts him. I was not in the summer league the year the Rockets drafted me so I had a very tough start in the beginning. For a player from China, I think you need time to adjust."

Yao never played against Yi, but they have been national team teammates for the past three years.

"When I left China, he just started to play," Yao said. We never matched up. I think he is a very good four. He can play a little bit of a five, sometimes. Good shot blocker. He just needs the right training, people who can tell him how to play on the NBA level."

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