Milwaukee Bucks Forward Yi Jianlian sat down with NBA.com to talk about his first game in the NBA.
NBA.com: Can you talk about your excitement arriving in Orlando last night before your first game? Could you sleep? Were you excited before the first game?
Yi: Yeah, I had a good sleep and I am very excited about my first NBA regular season game. This is one of the games (playing in the NBA) that Iíve been looking forward to for a long time.
NBA.com: What was going through your mind last night as you thought about what today is going to be?
Yi: I think itís more like how do I play a good game and give 100 percent out there. I feel very excited and a little bit of pressure for this game as well.
NBA.com: How long have you thought about today growing up as a boy?
Yi: I have been dreaming about today since I started to play basketball as a little boy.
NBA.com: During the preseason, you have shown a good physical skills against your opponent. What have you worked on in order to have an easier adjustment in NBA games?
Yi: I still need more time to adapt and improve the way of handling physical NBA games. However, I think it is OK for me right now.
NBA.com: What did you do in the preseason to impress the coaches enough to be a starter?
Yi: I have been working hard through training camp, and I am trying to play good defense and improve my rebounding skills.
NBA.com: What was your reaction when you first learned that you would start?
Yi: I was excited, I feel a little pressure, therefore I will strive to get the first win of the season for the club.
NBA.com: Which thought was in your mind after you found out that you would start tonight? Excitement or pressure?
Yi: It is a mix because itís not easy to be a starter, especially when you are a rookie.
NBA.com: What does opening night mean to you?
Yi: It is a new beginning, a new challenge and a big step for me. I would like to have a good game tonight. That would be a good beginning as well.
NBA.com: What do you think about fans watching your performance live in China tonight?
Yi: My friends and family are going to watch the game tonight. I feel a little pressure since there will be millions of my Chinese supporters watching as well.
NBA.com: From April to draft workouts to Chinese National Team training, do you think you are ready for the season opener tonight?
Yi: Yes I am ready for tonight. Iíve been training with the Bucks for a month and besides that. Iíve been working out and trained thoughout the whole summer.
NBA.com: Anything that you would like to improve more as the season moves along?
Yi: I think there are a lot of aspects that need to be improved. As a rookie, there are a lot of new adjustments in terms of the tactics and developing chemistry with teammates.
NBA.com: Any expectations about tonightís game?
Yi: A win would be a good result for a start.
NBA.com: Do you know today is Halloween? Do you know what this occasion is?
Yi: From my understanding, kids are all over at neighborsí doors asking for candy.