Yao Ming

A Man Living In Two Worlds

Yao Ming Basketball Journey

Yao Ming was born in China. Both of his parents played basketball for China, but were retired from it by the time they had Yao. Yao Ming loved basketball, he had a typical dream but different at the same time. Most children we see today are inspired by watching NBA legends play and tell about there career and dream of being in the NBA. Yao was different, he was inspired by reading biographies about heroes from China from the past, and his dream was not to play in the NBA, but to play for his country on the Chinese basketball team. Yao played as a kid and got good enough to play for the CBA due to hard work and commitment and his parent's help. Yao had barely made the CBA and for a couple of years many people always thought of him as a man with only height and a descent jump shot, with no post skills, foot work, or defense. Yao eventually got better over time but not great, Chinese basketball became more popular and eventually two NBA players joined his team, the NBA players couldn't do much they were there because no team wanted them and they were second round picks. Eventually he got better, when he became more popular, his best friend Wang Zhi Zhi joined the NBA and was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, Wang bounced around to the Heat and the Clippers and had a short-lived career. Yao eventually went to the U.S. for the first time and went to Dallas for basketball purposes, as he got good he went to the states a lot for camps and workouts and even got to play 1v1 when he was 18 against Tyson Chandler when he was 15. Yao had a very tough choice to make, he became so good that he became a lottery pick in his NBA draft stock, Yao had to chose between playing in the NBA or for the Chinese National basketball team, he was worried people would see him as a traitor to his country, but he had to decide soon because if he entered the draft after playing a year for the Chinese National Team his draft stock would go way down, because of age. Yao had decided to join the NBA in fear that if he waited his career might turn out to be like Wang Zhi Zhi's. Yao had two big problems in joining the NBA one was his agent. Yao never said his real name so he called him Mr. Green, the CBA could control where Yao went he made a contract, it stated %34 percent of all money Yao made in the NBA would go to him, %33 would go to Mr. Green and %33 would go to the CBA, Yao didn't know much about NBA contracts but he knew something was amiss with this one, he had the NBA look at it and then found out not only is that contract totally illegal, but Mr. Green wasn't even a qualified NBA agent. The CBA and Yao had a very complicated situation, it is to complicated to explain but it had the CBA controlling where Yao plays wither it be in China or the NBA. The CBA would let Yao go because he finally convinced the CBA too but also the CBA wanted to show they had power and could handle a situation like this. Yao had worked for weeks with the Houston Rockets because they wanted to draft Yao #1, his mother, and himself night and day for two weeks to get this sorted out, finally a day before the draft a there was a problem he found out he wasn't allowed to sign an NBA contract with anything with the draft being tomorrow, he made a meeting but it was in China while he was in the U.S. for NBA training camp and scouting. He went to the meeting a little late with a passport problem that was fixed and really nothing was accomplished. The Rockets drafted him #1 overall and eventually things were worked out. Until Yao broke his foot a few weeks before the NBA season and more crazy CBA events happened that were fixed. He finally got to finish training camp and played his fist NBA game against the Pacers where he scored 0 points with 2 turnovers and 2 rebounds with many people from China and Rockets fans watching on TV, he came off the bench for his first game but took his poor performance very harshly on himself. His first two weeks were rough but no game was as bad as the first one and always remember that it wasn't his worse and at least he scored once. He finally had a good game after he was inspired, Charles Barkley, who had doubted him before said if Yao Ming scores 19 points or more I will kiss Kenny Smith's butt on live TV, Yao played the Lakers and scored 20, so instead of that happening Kenny Smith didn't want Charles to do that so he had to kiss a donkey's butt on live TV. Yao eventually got better as the season went on and was pretty satisfied with his NBA rookie-season, even having rough games against players like Shaq and Arvydas Sabonis.

Yao Ming as a Person

Yao Ming was a very humble exceptional person, even though he is 7 feet 6 inches, everyone who knows Yao, knows he is a good person. Yao Ming would have never made it to the NBA if he wasn't who he was. He needed patience to convince and let the CBA release him to the NBA, not only was Yao patient and handled it very well but he remembered the CBA made him a great basketball player and he would not even have the option of going to the NBA if it weren't for the CBA. He has always been kind to everybody, even in tough situations. One time NBA Center Shaquille O'Neal offended Asian Americans when they thought something he said about Yao was racist, others thought it was a joke, Yao didn't know what to make of it, so Yao sent Shaq a kind letter and complemented him after the Rockets played the Lakers. Yao Ming was respected by all his teammates and fans especially Steve Francis. When Yao was signing the fans jerseys and taking pictures, he had to leave early to talk to the media, the media asked him how he felt about getting much love from the fans like he just did, he responded that he was sorry he couldn't finish signing jerseys, taking pictures, and everything else they wanted to do and he promised to finish doing so like everybody wanted. This is some ways Yao showed love and respect back to the fans. He also didn't take much for granite, being one of the first Chinese born players in the NBA and becoming an all-star some people considered him a hero. Yao always said he wasn't a hero and the true heroes were the people he read about for inspiration.