When media reported basketball star Yi Jianlian would "definitely not" sign
with Milwaukee and could be headed back to the Chinese Basketball Association
(CBA), Chen Haitao came out into the media spotlight, adjusted his attitude, but
still avoided answering sensitive questions.
Chen is the manager of Guangdong Hongyuan, the CBA team Yi played with before
being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks this summer.
Beijing News Tuesday quoted Chen as saying "If the Bucks insist, Yi will go
back to the CBA." The newspaper also reported Chen said the the Bucks have
several big guys and their strategy would restrict Yi's playing time next
Probably having sensed the intense media scrutiny over his statement, Chen
did another interview with Guangzhou Daily on Tuesday and changed his tone to a
When asked "What choice should Yi make if the Bucks insist on no trading?"
Chen thought for a moment before answering, "the only way out is negotiation. As
for final decision, I really have no answer."
However, Chen suggested the media should not oppose Yi's agent team against
the Bucks and denied he's in bad relationship with the Bucks.
"The National Basketball Association is a sort of business where people
negotiate on set platform with set rules," Chen said. "There's no opposition
between us and we respect each other.
"Now it's the phase in which everybody
express opinions, not like what some people think."