Though the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Elund declared Bucks rookie Yi Jianilan was “making progress in his crash course” on life in the NBA (“off the court, he has acquired a taste for steak, thinks the ‘Michigan Lake’ is very scenic and is learning some American slang”), that’s nothing compared to last month’s entry at Hard Wood :

I have mostly stayed in my hotel room reading, listening to the new compact discs from 12 Girls Band, High on Fire, and the œHigh School Musical 2³movie. Also, I have been getting a lot of sleep. But, to disappoint Li Po, I do know for sure that I am not a butterfly dreaming he is Yi Jianlian.

I would say my best friend on the team is that œeager beaver Andrew Bogut. He is from Australia, and was also a high draft pick, so we are on similar journeys through the National Basketball Association. Many is the time that we have had conversations about topics like learning the asinine rules about fouling and defensive three-point violations, and about the way most of my fellow players spend their money like Shanghai whores, saving nothing for their futures. I am grateful for the fellowship of this man, he is my homey for realz. At the same time, I know that my advisors are correct in saying that his presence threatens my status as œbeloved and hard-working gentle giant.

This is not such a bad city after all. The people do not seem very much backward ” many of them understand the game of basketball, although I am afraid that most of them would have a hard time locating China on a globe, or even be able to find the globe itself. But they have been chanting my name in preseason scrimmages, and many have shaken my hand and attempted to hug me to show respect. The females seem very different from our own, and most of them are named Jennifer. But they have a certain fleshy peasant charm, and I think this sojourn will teach me many things about the ways of Americans.