Stern Assists on Yi Talks

Commish wants to keep 7-foot forward—and lots of merchandising yuan—in Milkwaukee
By Joseph Fasano,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2007 4:14 AM CDT
Chinese basketball star Yi Jianlian, in the top ten for Thursday's NBA Draft, answers reporters' questions with a smile during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, June 27, 2007. The NBA Draft will...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Bucks are doing everything to secure No. 6 pick Yi Jianlian, including showering him with team merchandise at his Summer League game this Saturday. Now commissioner David Stern is joining the effort. Sports Illustrated reports that as GM Larry Harris and coach Larry Krystkowiak woo the 7-foot Chinese phenom, Stern is matchmaking from the wings.

The Bucks nabbed Yi in last month's draw, but the power forward allegedly requested a trade to the international stage. It's unclear what moves Stern has made, though one Eastern Conference GM says the commish has been aggressive in pursuing Yi, who promises to be a big-league marketing item. (Read more Yi Jianlian stories.)