Archive for the 'Sun Yue' Category

Lakers Waive Sun Yue

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Sun Yue, it was announced today.

“With the talent level and depth of our roster, the situation simply doesn’t provide an opportunity for Sun Yue to get the chance to play that he deserves,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We feel it is in Sun’s best interests to be able to go to a team where he can get the minutes to play and showcase his considerable talents. We appreciate Sun’s contributions to last season’s championship team, and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career.”


Sun Yue Update

Rookie guard Sun Yue currently has one year left on his two-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Lakers, and according to team spokesman John Black, L.A. has until August 1st to decide whether or not to terminate his contract.

In the meantime, Sun said in his exit interview that he’s deciding whether or not to play with the Chinese National Team this summer.

Sun Yue: Exit Interview

blog_090616sunyueIn his rookie year out of China, Sun Yue played just 28 minutes across 10 games, scoring a total of six points with two assists, and was inactive throughout the playoffs. Sun did get some valuable playing time in the D-League, and is currently deciding whether or not to play in L.A.’s summer league or to go home and train with the Chinese National Team.

Here are some of his exit interview comments:

- On what he went over with Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak: “Just talked about the whole season, my injury, where I need to improve: I need to put on more weight (and strength), play some minutes, to play in more games, get more experience.”

- Sun, who’s a funny, positive guy, said that he’s lucky not to be the only rookie that received little to no playing time: “This year, I learned a lot about the NBA. It was a great life experience.”

- Sun said he improved on all of the basketball skill sets because of all the practice time with great players, particularly his ball handling and shooting. He also put on 20 pounds of muscle.

- On the adjustment: “It’s my first time living in America. The people around you are all American … It’s totally different from when I was living in China. Everything was new, but I like it.”

- Sun says he does want to be back with the Lakers: “When you play with the best basketball team in the world and the best player, you can definitely learn.”

- “Everybody on the team was very nice,” he added. “They helped me when I didn’t know what to say (with the language) or what I should do because I was a rookie.”

- More than anything else, he’s looking forward not to do all the rookie chores that he was saddled with throughout the season.

- Sun closed with a fun note: “I don’t know why the Chinese media is here, I wanted to speak Chinese!” The Chinese media then went outside to interview him.

Sun Back to the D-Fenders

Rookie Guard Sun Yue has been assigned back to the Lakers Developmental League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, today.

This will be Yue’s second tour of duty with the D-Fenders. His first stint consisted of 4 games (4 starts), averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.25 blocks in 36.0 minutes.

Here’s the link to the press release.

Sun Yue to Remain with D-Fenders … For Now

Phil Jackson explained after Sunday’s practice that as long as the Lakers don’t have any injuries on the road trip, rookie guard Sun Yue will stay in Los Angeles with the D-Fenders.

Playing in his second consecutive game for L.A.’s D-League affiliate on Saturday night after 44 minutes in Friday’s OT win, Sun scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-2 from three-point range. He added four blocks, three rebounds, two steals and an assist in 35 minutes. The D-Fenders (13-25) dropped the game by just two points, 97-95, to the Anaheim Arsenal (15-23).

Hey D-League … Here Comes the Sun

Sun YueHe’s finally here, L.A. D-Fenders.

Much like they did with Jordan Farmar during his rookie year, the Lakers will send rookie Sue Yue down to play with the D-Fenders prior to this’ evening’s big squad game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Here’s the press release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned guard Sun Yue to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“This is a great opportunity for Sun to gain additional playing time while still being able to continue on the NBA level,” said head coach Phil Jackson. “Your rookie year is a learning process and the more time you get on the court, the better you will be for it in the long run. I am impressed with Sun’s basketball talents and am hopeful that he will play for the Lakers for many years to come.”

Originally selected by the Lakers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Sun signed with the Lakers the following summer (August 25, 2008) shortly after representing China as a member of the Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Making his NBA debut on Dec. 7 versus Milwaukee with four points on 2-of-3 shooting in five minutes, Sun has appeared in 10 games with the Lakers this season, totaling six points, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 28 minutes.

Lakers Missing Rookie Game

Sun YueLakers rookie Sun Yue has appeared in only nine games this season, receiving 2.9 minutes of playing time in each appearance. While the Chinese point guard is high on potential, he’s not quite there yet with Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

So, when the rookie and sophomore teams were announced on Wednesday – as selected by assistant coaches around the league – there were no cries of horror around Los Angeles … except perhaps from UCLA Bruins fans who saw Kevin Love left off the first-year squad (more on that in a minute).

But for the Lakers, it’s the first time in a few years that no youngster will participate, as Jordan Farmar played in the previous two Rookie Games and Andrew Bynum competed as a sophomore in 2007. Farmar ripped it up with 17 points and 11 assists in a 136-109 S’mores win last year in a competition that began in 2000 and has resulted in a 7-2 old guys edge.

Here are this season’s nine-man squads:

2008-09 NBA Rookie Team
Derrick Rose
Brook Lopez
Greg Oden
Russell Westbrook
O.J. Mayo
Eric Gordon
Marc Gasol
Rudy Fernandez
Michael Beasley

2008-09 NBA Sophomore Team
Kevin Durant
Al Horford
Rodney Stuckey
Jeff Green
Luis Scola
Al Thornton
Aaron Brooks
Wilson Chandler
Thaddeus Young

No Love for Kevin?
Clearly, Minnesota’s Love is the best player left off either team. Perhaps the most telling measure of how the rookies are Kevin Lovedoing as a whole comes courtesy of ESPN’s David Thorpe, who updates his “Rookie Rankings” weekly. Thorpe has Love as the second best rookie in the class, behind only Westbrook, and a full seven spots ahead of Gasol.

Not only are Love’s season numbers just as good as Gasol’s and better than Beasley’s, but he’s been tearing it up in January now that he’s getting minutes. Check out his game-by-game numbers this month, which are particularly meaningful since the Wolves are an NBA-best 10-3 in 2009. Perhaps in protest, Love hung up 17 points, 10 boards and four assists in 26 minutes against Detroit after being snubbed.

Now that the Love-fest is over … The rest of the rosters are fine, and even though the rookies have more overall talent than the sophomores (by far), it’s tough to picture Durant, Horford and Stuckey letting their team lose.

We’ll be there in Phoenix in person to let you know how it goes.

Yao Looks Towards Sun

Sun Yue Yao MingPrior to L.A.’s thrilling victory in Houston (get some, Kobe), we spent a few minutes asking Rockets center Yao Ming about his Chinese National Team cohort Sun Yue.

Yao, ever gracious in conducting daily interviews not only with a full complement of Chinese journalists (there were nine or ten in Houston’s locker room) in his native language, but also a separate round for American reporters,* talked about knowing Sun since 2005, his raw talent, the difference between Yao/Yi Jianlian and Sun as well as the young point guard’s opportunity considering L.A.’s injuries.
*Much like the equally gracious Pau Gasol, in fact, it you trade Chinese for Spanish.

Here’s the audio:

Perhaps the best part of Yao’s response came when I asked him about how Sun is off the court:

“Look at my face, I’m already telling you,” said Yao while sporting a broad, beaming grin. “He’s very outgoing. He has a lot of friends on the National Team, no matter if (it’s) the young guys or the old guys. Overall, he’s a nice kid.”

Sun Yue Day-to-Day

From the road in Indiana prior to Tuesday evening’s contest against the Pacers, Lakers spokesman John Black told me that after separate MRI and CAT Scans came back normal, Sun was declared day-to-day with a sprained left foot.

Sun is expected to join the Lakers on the road.

Chinese Special: Sun on Yi

Yi Jianlian, Sun YueEven since the first day of training camp, Sun Yue’s English has gotten markedly better.

My first conversation with Sun in early October was a bit difficult for both of us, with lots of repeating words and phrases, clarifying and glances towards Sun’s interpreter. But on Monday at the Lakers practice facility, our conversation flowed smoothly, and Sun needed to ask for clarification from said interpreter only once.

Much of our discussion today centered around Sun’s close friend, fellow Chinese player Yi Jianlian, who on Saturday scored 27 points against the Clippers and is averaging 10.9 points and 6.8 boards this season, though we touched on a few other points as well.

The few pauses you’ll hear occurred when Sun needed me to repeat something (twice) or ask his interpreter to clarify something (once). Here’s the audio: