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Sun, Dec 8, 2013
Milwaukee's Chinese Community Wants Yi Jianlian
By David Marcus
Brian Wang has been living in Milwaukee for more than two decades, helping run his family's restaurant, Yen Ching. But he's also an NBA fan. Wang wants Chinese Basketball superstar Yi Jianlian to sign with the Bucks. "As a Chinese American living in Milwaukee, having a guy like Yi come to Milwaukee would be a tremendous thing for our community." But the issue is community. Yi's representatives want their client to come to a city with a large Chinese population. "Obviously the Chinese population here is small, so we won't be able to fill the stands. But the excitement and enthusiasm will be equal to any larger city," says Wang. Milwaukee's Chinese make up less than 1 percent of the city's population. But is that the real reason Yi may not make the Bradley Center his home? Yi will likely not spend a great deal of time in Milwaukee during the season or even off-season, so it's possible Yi's representatives simply want their client to play in a larger city for maximum marketing and merchandising potential. "The problem is not with Yi, it's his agent," says Xiaofan Chen, a Bucks fan in Milwaukee. "They want to make money and Milwaukee is a small market." Governor Doyle and Senator Herb Kohl are among the more visible who have made public and private pleas for Yi to come to Milwaukee. Wang has added to that list. "Definitely give Milwaukee a chance and we look forward to serving you a meal, if you like.." says Wang. "Come by any time and we hope you sign with the Bucks." Certainly, Wang is not alone in his wish.