Yi Jianlian took off his shoes in protest of the official sponsor in his return to the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Wednesday as Guangdong lost its second round game to Shenzhen.
The giant center who was recently waived by the Los Angeles Lakers went for the bench in the second quarter after he took off his shoes and left them on the floor. He later explained the official CBA shoes were uncomfortable and might cause foot injuries.
Yi soon returned, by wearing the shoes of his personal sponsor, but was kept off the court by the referee. He stormed off to the locker room, to the surprise of a packed crowd.
Yi was back in the third quarter, still wearing his own shoes, and played the rest of the game.
With only 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist from Yi over a total of 24 minutes, Guangdong lost 88-89 for the second straight defeat following a 55-all first half.
Shenzhen's Jeremy Pargo scored a game-high 25 points.
In Wednesday's other games, Tianjin upset Bayi 104-99, Liaoning beat Jiangsu 110-104, Beijing edged Qingdao 129-126, Shandong defeated Shanxi 99-91, Shanghai downed Tongxi 110-101, Fujian hammered Zhejiang 123-115, Guangsha smashed Sichuan 106-86, Aolong lost to Xinjiang 94-109.
On Tuesday, Jilin won over Guangzhou 80-76.