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View Full Version : Yao Ming gets max deal from Rockets (ESPN)


dirt_dobber
08-31-2005, 11:53 AM
By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine

The Houston Rockets will announce Thursday that they've signed three-time All-Star center Yao Ming to a five-year extension, thereby securing his services through the 2010-11 season, a source close to the negotiations confirmed early Wednesday morning.

That this comes without drama or shock value -- not even for the Lakers -- is further proof that Yao simply isn't cutting it as your standard-issue NBA superstar. Under the next collective bargaining agreement, the value of the contract, which doesn't kick in until next season, will be 25 percent of whatever the salary cap is. Estimates have the deal starting at $12.5 million. What the Rockets have to wonder is whether he'll ever start acting like someone pulling down that kind of coin.

Didn't he read the manual? Doesn't he know this was his chance to hold the franchise hostage and make sure everyone in Dubya's stomping grounds danced to Yao's xiao*? To induce GMs around the league to prostrate themselves before his size 18s and shower him with gifts and expound on how magnificent he would look in their uniforms? (Heck, even Tim Duncan went the sampler route.)

To inspire media and fans to speculate and chatter and raise a general ruckus about where he should go and why? (Several sources say Lakers rising exec Jim Buss -- son of owner Dr. Jerry Buss -- thought he could lure Yao to L.A. but is now targeting LeBron James.)

Yao could've been the center of attention for at least a month, if not an entire year, had he played out his option -- and, instead, he does this. Quietly negotiates a max extension. Quietly arranges to call from China to make the announcement. Quietly hitches his wagon to a franchise and a market that, quite frankly, are not big enough to fully exploit his worldwide drawing power.

I understand now why his rookie-year teammates celebrated when he finally unleashed his first post-dunk, T-drawing primal scream. The dude simply refuses to see that being focused on winning and making his teammates better and honoring his country and respecting his elders and trying, despite his wealth and fame and privilege, to embody that whole Rudyard Kipling poem thing is just -- well, damn it, it's just not the NBA way.

Here's how it's done: Keep a checklist of grievances and see this as the perfect time for full-bore payback. Poke fun at those who tagged him a bust before his first NBA game. Steal the spotlight from those who insinuated his All-Star starts are bogus because he comes from a country of 1.3 billion people. (As if that's something he should be sorry for, especially considering a billion are not believed to have Internet access.) Drop hints about how honored he'd be to follow in the purple-and-gold pivots of Kareem, Wilt and Shaq. That might've even induced Phil Jackson to say how much better suited Yao is than the Diesel for the triangle offense. Or how much New York reminds him of his native Shanghai. Or how he might just have to leave the league entirely if the referees don't start cutting him a little more slack.

Re-signing without milking the moment for all its worth -- to him, at everyone else's expense -- wasn't his only offseason violation. Rather than delaying his ankle surgery, thereby allowing him to miss part or all of training camp and provide himself a built-in excuse for playing his way into shape, he had it done early in the summer. Then he hired a personal trainer to keep working on his upper body while his ankle healed. Then he bought a $3,000 portable ice-electric stimulation contraption so he could still meet his Basketball Without Borders obligations in Beijing in mid-July while treating his ankle in his downtime.

How Yao reached his decision to stay in Houston is almost as bad. First he weighed if any place could give him a better chance of winning a championship. Then he considered how much he enjoyed playing last season with newly acquired Tracy McGrady. Then he remembered how Houston, its franchise and its people, embraced him as much for who he is as who they hope he will be. How GM Carroll Dawson announced Yao was going to be the No. 1 pick and never wavered in the face of withering skepticism. How the team, from the 12th man to the coaching staff, has been remodeled to exploit his strengths and compensate for his weaknesses.

Yao even concluded that for all his wisecracks about the traffic and sprawl and cowpie-kickin' attitude, Houston really isn't all that bad as an adopted home.

All of which he may or may not mention Thursday. If he feels in any way he might be overstating his place in the Rockets' universe -- as he sees it -- he'll stick to thanking the franchise for believing in him and promising to do his best to live up to its commitment and expectations and then throw in a self-deprecating crack. Something about looking like coach Jeff Van Gundy in six years. Or having enough time now to see Shaq retire. Or having the money to build a private freeway to and from the Toyota Center.

The guy just doesn't get it. It's quite a burden for the rest of us to carry, but let's hope he never does.

*Vertical Chinese flute.

.

snoop
08-31-2005, 12:23 PM
not a bad move, you pay big for bigs

Five-ofan
08-31-2005, 12:26 PM
he is definately worth the max in the current market for several reasons. One he is worth it for his play he is an 18 and 9 center. 2 his drawing/marketing power is right there with lebron for the best in the nba.

DubOverdose
08-31-2005, 12:26 PM
Everyone knew this would happen when he got a new deal. Not worth it now, but a good chance he will be in the future.

LRB
08-31-2005, 12:33 PM
Who is a better center that Yao in the NBA? The list is very short even if you wanted to consider Dirk and Duncan centers. I don't think that Houston is overpaying for Yao at all. Because if they don't offer him the max, 20+ teams would either be trying to offer Yao the Max or do a sign and trade for the Max to get him. Yao is a very valuable commodity if for no other reason that the dearth of talented centers in the NBA.

dirt_dobber
08-31-2005, 01:03 PM
Kind of related ... but ......
I remember when we had Wang playing for us (MAVS) that he had to pay
approx. 40 percent to taxes back to China. Anyone else remember this?

.

Drbio
08-31-2005, 01:21 PM
Dobber- it is a condition of the Chinese basketball/sports authority to allow their players to sign with the NBA. Wang broke with them and I don't know his status, but it is my understanding that Yao operates under a similar agreement.

wireonfire
08-31-2005, 07:01 PM
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

rabbitproof
08-31-2005, 07:06 PM
Good for the Rockets. It's not overpaying. That team is obviously built around Yao and McGrady. And given the market for centers, Yao's getting his.

Plus, I would've hated seeing Yao in LA. I think Yao becomes a 20/10 guy this year.

alby
08-31-2005, 07:40 PM
WHEN T-mac is unable to get out of the first round again this year, we'll see what happens in Houston i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

Thespiralgoeson
08-31-2005, 09:38 PM
This is a no brainer. Yao is definitely worth the max as he is, and he's only gonna get better. I'm one of the people who still believes that this guy is the next dominant center. Look for him to be 20/10 next year, and eventually turn into a 25/11 kinda guy. The guy's also got serious passing skills. In maybe two years, I could see him averaging something like 25/11/3.5. T-Mac is T-Mac. I still don't think they're gonna win it all with that backcourt, but once they upgrade the guard spots... watch out. That team has championship written all over it.

mary
09-01-2005, 02:02 AM
Somewhere out there, are some delusional Lakers fans that are devastated to learn this news i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

chumdawg
09-01-2005, 02:21 AM
Not really. All it does is line Dirk up for their squad that year.

Thespiralgoeson
09-01-2005, 02:29 AM
If Kwame's half the player he's supposed to be, they won't need him.

chumdawg
09-01-2005, 02:37 AM
If Kwame is twice the player he is supposed to be, they will giddy to max him out at the same time they max out a free agent signee. Yao is off the blocks. Who else besides Dirk?

Listen, you know (or you should know) that I have my finger on the pulse when it comes to the Mavericks. As of this day, I put it at 35% that Dirk signs with the Lakers in two summers. That's a scary high percentage.

Thespiralgoeson
09-01-2005, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by: chumdawg
If Kwame is twice the player he is supposed to be, they will giddy to max him out at the same time they max out a free agent signee. Yao is off the blocks. Who else besides Dirk?

Listen, you know (or you should know) that I have my finger on the pulse when it comes to the Mavericks. As of this day, I put it at 35% that Dirk signs with the Lakers in two summers. That's a scary high percentage.

Why would they sign both of them? They play the same position. I suppose they could play Kwame at center, but seems unlikely.

chumdawg
09-01-2005, 02:57 AM
You think Kwame is a four?

jayC
09-02-2005, 09:45 PM
Even if Yao never becomes the next dominant player, he will be worth it. Size comes at a premium in the NBA ask the Kings or the Mavericks. Let alone the Spurs who paid 65 million for a guy to sit on the bench.

Kwame for Butler was a good trade for LA. Even if Kwame only avgs 7 points and 7 rebounds a game. The Lakers had a glutton of small forwards. Every team dreams of adding an elite free agent. Teams will lock down their quality players even if they aren't worth max contracts. AK47, Antwan Jamison, etc.

Misfit Mav
09-03-2005, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by: chumdawg
If Kwame is twice the player he is supposed to be, they will giddy to max him out at the same time they max out a free agent signee.

If they max out Kwame they will not be able to sign another free agent. Kobe and Lamar Odom are one the books in '07 for $32 million.


Yao is off the blocks. Who else besides Dirk?

They are expect to pursue LeBron James. Amare may be a free agent as well.


Listen, you know (or you should know) that I have my finger on the pulse when it comes to the Mavericks. As of this day, I put it at 35% that Dirk signs with the Lakers in two summers. That's a scary high percentage.

How on earth did you come up with that percentage? Have you ever heard Dirk express any interest in LA? Are you not expecting Cuban to offer him the max?

Joey
09-03-2005, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by: wireonfire
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

Do you have a link to this? Just curious. BTW welcome to the board

DeusDeOmini
09-04-2005, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by: jayC
Even if Yao never becomes the next dominant player, he will be worth it. Size comes at a premium in the NBA ask the Kings or the Mavericks. Let alone the Spurs who paid 65 million for a guy to sit on the bench.

Kwame for Butler was a good trade for LA. Even if Kwame only avgs 7 points and 7 rebounds a game. The Lakers had a glutton of small forwards. Every team dreams of adding an elite free agent. Teams will lock down their quality players even if they aren't worth max contracts. AK47, Antwan Jamison, etc.

I think Ak47 is worth a max deal.

Drbio
09-04-2005, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by: wireonfire
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

SOURCE?

That would be contrary to every published report from predraft, 2002 and recent. Idle speculation on your part I am sure.

EricaLubarsky
09-05-2005, 11:10 PM
Cuban knows that you have one max player on your roster-- the star and everyone else should be less than that. Cuban was obviously unwilling to have 5 max money guys (Nowitzki, Finley, Walker, Jamison, Nash).

This year we have 2 max guys-- Dirk and KVH, and KVH is expiring. And in my opinion only the team's star should get max money-- not Raef, not Damp, not Howard. Finley deserved his money because he WAS the star of this team for years. Then we moved into the three equal stars build and that caused real problems down the line.

Drbio
09-06-2005, 09:56 AM
Not a bad post at all EL.

Silkworm
09-13-2005, 04:59 PM
It's not speculation. The contract situation in all its complexity was well dissected in the media in China back when Yao first came to USA. As for sources, I doubt those three year old news articles still exists on web. I forgot the specifics, but Yao is paying no where near 50% to CBA.



Originally posted by: Drbio

Originally posted by: wireonfire
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

SOURCE?

That would be contrary to every published report from predraft, 2002 and recent. Idle speculation on your part I am sure.

Hitman
09-13-2005, 06:48 PM
How many times did Yao go for 30 in our 7 games series vs. the Rockets? 4?

People may think I am nuts, but I think Yao is a future MVP. He has been off pretty much all summer. Watch out this year.

Hitman
09-13-2005, 06:48 PM
How many times did Yao go for 30 in our 7 games series vs. the Rockets? 4?

People may think I am nuts, but I think Yao is a future MVP. He has been off pretty much all summer. Watch out this year.

Drbio
09-13-2005, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by: Silkworm
It's not speculation. The contract situation in all its complexity was well dissected in the media in China back when Yao first came to USA. As for sources, I doubt those three year old news articles still exists on web. I forgot the specifics, but Yao is paying no where near 50% to CBA.



Originally posted by: Drbio

Originally posted by: wireonfire
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

SOURCE?

That would be contrary to every published report from predraft, 2002 and recent. Idle speculation on your part I am sure.

A quick google proves you wrong, but of course we already knew that. Yao is paying the CBA a huge chunk of change. Wrong again....strike two.

Drbio
09-13-2005, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by: Silkworm
It's not speculation. The contract situation in all its complexity was well dissected in the media in China back when Yao first came to USA. As for sources, I doubt those three year old news articles still exists on web. I forgot the specifics, but Yao is paying no where near 50% to CBA.



Originally posted by: Drbio

Originally posted by: wireonfire
That is not true. Yao is reported paid $8mil to his old shanghai team. That is pretty much it. The 50% arrangement by the CBA had no legal background whatsoever. The commisioner offically said Yao isn't paying much, if at all, to them.

SOURCE?

That would be contrary to every published report from predraft, 2002 and recent. Idle speculation on your part I am sure.

A quick google proves you wrong, but of course we already knew that. Yao is paying the CBA a huge chunk of change. Wrong again....strike two.