Nets introduce Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons
Last week the New Jersey Nets introduced Yi Juanlian And Bobby Simmons to local media. It's going to take some time for everyone to accept that Richard Jefferson is really gone. But, his replacements are now official members of the team.
Yi walked in to the gym,stopped and took pictures with many of the Chinese organizations that attended the press conference.
While the conference did revolve around basketball, there was plenty of talk about marketing, not surprising since Jianlian is expected to bring added international attention to the team.
Bruce Ratner talked in his opening statement on how excited he was as this was the a new chapter in Nets Basketball. Later during the Q&A, Bruce was asked if this was a basketball move or marketing move, to which Ratner insisted that this was a 100% basketball decision. The marketing aspect is a bonus as this will help them in the future when they move to Brooklyn. Ratner reminded everyone that basketball decisions are made by Rod and Kiki.
Rod Thorn looks at Yi and Simmons as help in adding height and on the defensive end, major weaknesses on the Nets roster last season. Rod also bought up Yi's obligation to Chinese Olympic team, recognizing it as a personal obligation.
Thorn is looking for Bobby Simmons to rebound his injuries and become the player he was with the Clippers.
Jianlian said he was very excited about the news of coming over to the Nets and found out about the deal before the news went public and before the deal was official. The forward stated he learned a lot in his first season and knows he has a lot more to learn.
Jianlian also said he has adjusted to being a star both in China and in the US. He walks down the streets and is very noticeable, both in china and when in Milwaukee.
Simmons stated this is a great opportunity and takes great pride in being a leader and mentoring younger players. Bobby understands his role as being a veteran and feels that he was able to help Yi when he became fatigued last season.
The new-look Nets will be interesting to watch next season.