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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Hope David Stern Gets the Memo

A while ago, David Stern's deputy (and second-round czar) Adam Silver huddled with co-workers and practiced pronouncing names like Zoran Erceg and team names like Zeleznik Beograd.

That international-player-rich second round is a tough job, and this is Silver's first crack at it. Things can go wrong, and have in the past, even in the first round. (You say "Ian Mahinmi" on international TV with no real time to practice.)

Silver had with him the same NBA pronunciation guide that I referred to yesterday when I told you that Yi Jianlian was pronounced EE TEE-an-LEE-an. Here's the update: I just asked several bona fide Chinese speakers how to say his name. My phonetics of what they told me is EE JEE-un-LEE-un. (Or maybe JEE-ahn-LEE-ahn, depending on how the wind blows.)

The "J" sound was not in dispute. It is not a "T" by any measure.