With 20 points under his name on the scoresheet, former NBA player Yi Jianlian broke a significant record and became the all-time leading scorer in CBA history, the top Chinese professional basketball league.
Yi scored a bucket after getting an offensive rebound in the second quarter. Knocking down his 11,166th point in the CBA, Yi surpassed his former teammate Zhu Fangyu to claim the all-time leading scorer title.
Now with 11,177 points in total, Yi Jianlian will continue pushing his record even higher with every additional point he scores in the remaining games of the season. With his effort, the Guangdong Tigers defeated Tianjin Pioneers by a final score of 140-93.
Yi started his CBA career in 2002. After playing in the Chinese league for five years, Yi was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 6th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. The Guangdong-native then played in the United States for five years, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Dallas Mavericks.
The 7-foot-tall power forward has been a critical player for the Chinese national team since 2004. Yi played in four Olympics and was named as the captain of the Chinese national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup tournament. Despite the poor performance from the Chinese team, Yi was considered as one of the remaining players with consistent performances during the tournament.
Speaking of his former teammate Yi Jianlian, the former all-time leading scorer Zhu Fangyu commended Yi’s persistent efforts in improving his game: “Yi is always the first one coming to practice and the last person leaving. His dedication and effort is the best. He is doing his best in every opportunity and every game. Young players need to learn from how he treated the game, and his motivation for becoming a champion.”
With a 47-point victory against Tianjin, the Guangzhou Tigers now lead the league with 7 wins and 1 loss in the first eight games of the season. The 9-time champion is looking forward to chasing back-to-back CBA titles in the 2019-2020 season.