View Full Version : Rockets move closer to drafting Ming

06-12-2002, 11:59 AM
Rockets: Talks positive toward drafting Chinese basketball star
AP Sports Writer
June 11, 2002

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Rockets are moving closer to using the first pick in the NBA draft on Chinese center Yao Ming.

The Rockets said they haven't yet reached an agreement but have had positive discussions with the Shanghai Sharks about making their star player, the 7-foot-5 Yao, the No. 1 pick.

``In those meetings, we've discussed details of Yao Ming's playing in the NBA and we've had some very good meetings,'' Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg told The Associated Press from Shanghai.

The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday in its online edition that Goldberg said Sharks general manager Li Yaomin and owner Bai Li pledged to recommend to the China Basketball Association that it grant its approval for Yao's participation in the draft.

Yao needs a letter of clearance from the FIBA, the international basketball governing body, to take part in the draft. Approval from the CBA is considered the remaining hurdle for Yao to receive FIBA clearance.

While discussions between Rockets' and Sharks' officials have been positive, Goldberg said both sides still need to address concerns. No specific agreements had been reached and no contracts signed, he added.

``We've developed what I believe to be very good relations,'' Goldberg said. ``Now we go on to Beijing and see the CBA leaders thinking we've got good friends here.''

Rockets officials were to meet there Wednesday with representatives of the CBA.

Houston, which won the No. 1 draft pick in the NBA's lottery last month, hopes to select Yao on June 26 in New York.

Goldberg, general manager Carroll Dawson, coach Rudy Tomjanovich and director of media relations Nelson Luis are in China to meet with Chinese representatives who will decide whether Yao is allowed to play in the United States.

Yao, 21, averaged 32.4 points, making 72.1 percent of his shots, along with averaging 19 rebounds in 34 China Basketball League games last season. He averaged 10.5 points on 63.9 percent shooting and six rebounds in the 2000 Olympics.

``They're concerned because they're losing their best player,'' Goldberg said of the Sharks.

He said the team would like to find ways to improve its roster without him, but didn't place any conditions on providing the recommendation.

``There were general discussions about the kinds of things that might be mutually beneficial,'' Goldberg said.

NBA commissioner David Stern told the Houston Chronicle that roadblocks could develop and keep Yao from playing within the league until later in his career.

``We have people stationed permanently on the ground in China and we have good relationships with the authorities and the CBA and the Shanghai Sharks,'' Stern said. ``But if there's a decision made at the highest levels to not allow a player to come or to restrict him in any way, my reaction was OK, that's happened before.''

Stern said Tuesday's developments could be a good sign for the team as it continues to lobby for the player.

``We are very, very anxious to be as open as we possibly can and to be as helpful as we possibly can to a point, because there is a certain competitive issue,'' Stern said. ``Other than that, we think it's a great development and a great opportunity.''

06-12-2002, 02:39 PM
I have no doubt that the Rockets will take Yao #1. It might not be the best thing to do ....but I think they will.

06-12-2002, 02:46 PM
Given the amount of time they have clearly invested in creating a relationship with China, their draft plans are obvious. It would take something major (China declaring war on Japan and drafting Yao into the army; LA offering Shaq) to change their mind.

06-12-2002, 04:16 PM
One word: BUST.

06-12-2002, 05:24 PM
One Word: Project

06-12-2002, 10:52 PM
I don't know if I'd call him a bust. A little early for that, don't you think?

However, I think it's a huge risk using him for the #1 pick. Just my opinion, though.

06-13-2002, 08:52 AM
Its a prediction of course MFF. Hell be a bust as a NR.1 pick.

06-13-2002, 09:06 AM
It is the excruciating number of Hakeem Olajuwan comparisons that I am least looking forward to.

06-13-2002, 09:14 AM
Didn't think about that. He is going to be held to the Hakeem standard. That's a high bar.

10-30-2002, 09:41 PM
The Yao watch is on. Heres the line for his first game:

Yao Ming vs Pacers: 11 mins, 0-1 fg, 0-0 3pt, 0-0 ft, 2 rb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 0 st, 2 to, 0 blk, 0 pts.

Well, he can only go up from here i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif.

11-02-2002, 09:04 AM
It Will Be a Long Season for Houston's Yao

SOMEWHERE between Shawn Bradley and Shaquille O'Neal lies the future of Yao Ming. While that is a margin extending over a wider territory than the Great Wall of China, which end of it he evolves to is a question that was not to be answered here last night in the second game of Yao's N.B.A. career, nor in the coming weeks, months and possibly the next couple of years.

In the finest tradition of our size-'em-up-and-spit-it-out talk-show sophistry, Yao became overnight fodder after his 11-minute, zero-point debut for the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night in Indianapolis. Of course, the same night brought rave reviews for Washington's Kwame Brown, last year's No. 1 draft pick plucked raw as a cold rain from the high school vine and later flogged as a sure-fire failure.

With that in mind, I will remind all skeptics that besides Kwame Brown and assorted others who needed time to develop, even Don Nelson had no idea what he had early on in Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki, no matter what he says now.

For now, the 7-foot-5-inch Yao is merely the N.B.A.'s reigning photo opportunity, even for the president of China, Jiang Zemin, who was recently President Bush's guest in Texas. Everywhere Yao goes, people ask how good he can be, but more than ponder this question all Yao wants to do, frankly, is turn out the light and take a long nap.

"It's tiring" was his newly formed take of the N.B.A. lifestyle, news media circus and all, before he showed a few good instincts but more inexperience in a 13-minute, 2-point, 7-rebound performance last night in the Rockets' 83-74 victory against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

Being fatigued in early November, with 80 games remaining and more Chinese communities eagerly anticipating Yao's first lap around the league, does not bode well for even the most undoubted rookie. But the Rockets drafted more than an extraordinary wingspan when they selected Yao last June; they took on a partner, an emerging global player that negotiated hard for the contractual right to control its most valuable sports export whenever the Rockets stop playing, which in the Western Conference is likely to be before the playoffs begin.

By late April, notwithstanding his ability to touch the sky, Yao won't know which end is up, like most rookies, but the Chinese national team could be calling him home to train, twice a day, six days a week, as he has since anyone in the Western Conference and Hemisphere learned his name.

"For three years, he has had no rest, no breather Chinese basketball league, Chinese national team, Chinese basketball league, Chinese national team," said Jarinn Akana, a Nuggets assistant coach who formed a relationship with the Chinese team while working with Wang Zhi Zhi, another Chinese 7-footer, in Dallas as a Mavericks front office aide. Akana made several trips to China, became an assistant coach for the national team during the world championships in Indianapolis last September and better than any American knows that the greatest N.B.A. obstacle for Yao east of O'Neal will be the Chinese perception that he still belongs to them and must play by their rules.

"It's practice in the morning, eat lunch, practice in the afternoon, go to sleep, get up and do it all over again," Akana said. "You live with the team, two to a room. I was with them when they went to Oakland last summer to play the U.S. team and there was Yao, squeezing in to coach, like everyone else."

He trained all summer for the world championships, returned home in September for the Asian Games last month. After a summer sans sun, now comes the N.B.A. grind, toughest of all for the most finely tuned players, much less a 7-5 freak of nature who runs surprisingly well, like an athlete, but whose 22-year-old knees and feet are the keys to a long basketball life. "They've got to watch him," Akana said. "He could burn out, physically or mentally."

American Chinese food aside ("I don't like P. F. Chang's" was his one pregame statement in English), Yao could also get very comfortable with the upgraded accommodations and the American sports credo that contracts are made to be broken. Wang, now with the Clippers in Los Angeles, decided he was better off playing summer league ball in the United States than training with the Chinese team for the world championships and wound up being thrown off the team until further notice.

"If China needs me, I will be there," Yao said. As for how this arrangement works out long term, he added, "I think the Rockets have a plan." Which was news to their coach, Rudy Tomjanovich, who said, "It's a good question."

History may have the answer, as it wasn't all that long ago that the Soviets tried to conditionally allow their stars to leave for the National Hockey League. The door, opened a crack, was soon run through. Money talks, in every tongue, and first class is the only way to fly when you're 7-5. At some point, when Yao awakens to the reality and rigors of N.B.A. life, the Chinese are likely to be given a choice: take him on his terms, the way it works in the West.

11-02-2002, 09:36 AM
7 boards in only 13 minutes against the Nuggets. Pretty impressive.

11-02-2002, 11:08 AM
Well atleast he did something but I wouldn't call it agianst the Nuggets impressive. I think I am just to hype of Kwames play.

11-05-2002, 11:02 PM
Yao goes bigtime tonight;

15 Minutes
0 points
3 Rebounds
0 Blocks
4 Fouls

I know it is early, but this guy has not shown me anything so far.

11-05-2002, 11:50 PM
Ive seen some highlights.
The guy has such a weak upper body.
Hes in for a tough ride this year.

11-09-2002, 11:45 PM
Yao is the early favorite for ROY.
Here his impressive line against the Warriors tonight:

7 mins, 3 pts, 2 rb, 2 pf, 1 to.

11-09-2002, 11:51 PM
Maybe his former rival Wang might be able to duplicate those kinds of numbers with the Clips someday...

11-10-2002, 03:17 AM
<< Maybe his former rival Wang might be able to duplicate those kinds of numbers with the Clips someday... >>


11-10-2002, 09:01 AM

<< Maybe his former rival Wang might be able to duplicate those kinds of numbers with the Clips someday... >>

lol >>


11-10-2002, 09:39 AM


<< Maybe his former rival Wang might be able to duplicate those kinds of numbers with the Clips someday... >>

lol >>

lol >>