"East is East, West is West, and never the twain shall meet."
Its quite bizarre to me how Kipling's quote still resonates in people's criticisms of international players, particularly as it relates to Yi. One of the main knocks is, as Bill Simmons (the Sports Guy) says:
To quell people's fears of his inability to overcome such HUUUUUUUGGGE cultural gaps, Yi tells us he is becoming as American as apple pie. Or rather, as American as SUVS?
Yi is Primetime like Deion Sanders!
(courtesy of SI.com)
In his latest blog entry on NBA.com, Yi talks about the NBA Finals, his tight in-game dunking, his first car, his acquaintance with greasy American food, and his first summer league.
From the looks of things, his agents and trainers are working overtime getting Yi's game "Americanized" on AND off the court. See for yourself!
In a Q/A session with fans, here's Yi on his dunking skills:
He's got some swagger and confidence, something we Americans love in our basketball players!
Yi on his first car:
That's so American!
Yi on eating American food:
Lets hope he doesn't go Shawn Kemp! That might be TOO American!
Nothing says American like two handed throwdowns! Remember when critics felt Yao's lack of dunking made his game "foreign"? Not Yi!
In a similar article about Yi's embrace of American life, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated offers some details about China's Next Big Thing particularly as his new penchant for the hollywood lifestyle!
In addition to hitting up the red carpet, appearing at several summer blockbuster movie premieres, Yi apparently also loves the "party scene." Uh oh...worst case scenario, he becomes the next Ed O'Bannon (anyone catch that FSN Bay Area 'showcase' on him and how his love for partying in NYC while playing for NJ practically ended his career?) Here are more instances of Yi affirming his cultural competency:
Perhaps Yi might follow in the footsteps of other international important, Tony Parker, and release his own rap cd? Maybe it's already in the works?
Getting Yi in exchange for some of our team's best assets will be a debate that will never die. But whether or not Yi can "adapt", it seems like proof Yi becoming more and more American by the day!
Do you think Yi's recent and on-going training in American cultural norms will help him on the courts? How American does he need to be in order to succeed?