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Archive for September, 2007

Yao to work on conditioning in China, will miss start of Rox training camp

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming rejoined the Chinese National Team on Wednesday after a busy week involving the Yao & Nash Charity Gala and Basketball game, as well as a few commercial activities.

In an interview with Wang Meng, Yao said he realizes he can still improve his conditioning. He’s fine on offense with the ball in the low post, but he is still 1 or 2 steps slow on defense as seen by getting beaten by Yi Jianlian and Zhang Songtao during scrimmages.

He plans to make use of the next two weeks where the Chinese will play seven exhibition games against teams from Italy, Russia, and Australia.

Because of a commitment he has to be part of the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics in China on October 2nd, he will miss the first 2-3 days of the Rockets training camp in Austin.

I don’t have a problem with that. He will have played seven of those games already, much more than his Rocket teammates. And being a global ambassador of the Special Olympics, it would be a big deal if he missed those Opening Ceremonies.

Thanks to Raymond in China for the scoop, and for these photos he posted in the YaoMania! forum of Yao with his Chinese teammates in practice.

Yao becomes spokesperson for one more company

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007
by John

On Tuesday Yao Ming became the global image spokesperson for the China Life insurance company. Add this to the other companies he added to his involvement the other day.

Click here for more photos from the press conference.

Video and first-hand account from Yao-Nash charity game

Sunday, September 16th, 2007
by John

I was surfing around the Net tonight and found some interesting content coming out of the Yao-Nash charity game in China. Here’s a video of Jackie Chan coming on to the court for the ceremonial opening tip:

Game highlights from NBA.com can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4sjX5U-nbk

I also found an interesting article on a site called SportsBusinessRadio.com written by Brian Berger who was able to get behind-the-scenes access to the locker rooms, as well as watch the game. Here’s some of what he wrote:

Yao Ming came in the locker room after tonight’s charity game and thanked the NBA players who played in tonight’s game. He spoke of how much the effort means to him and to the Chinese people and how impressed he was that these players flew halfway around the world just a few weeks prior to the start of training camp. He told the players in the locker room that if he could ever assist them with their charitable efforts, he’d be happy to do so. It was a really nice moment for these players who play in the most exclusive basketball fraternity on the planet – the NBA. Once Yao finished his speech, the Team Nash players sang a song that the game operations people played whenever Yao scored in tonight’s game. Its a cheesy but catchy song that chants, “Yao Ming, Yao Ming, Yao Ming, Yao Ming……..Yao Ming, Yao Ming”. The Chinese fans love it though.

Click here for Berger’s entire blog post, as well as another YouTube video of the pre-game introductions at the bottom of his post.

Yao’s business activities pick up

Saturday, September 15th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming has been one busy fella the past few days. Not only has he been doing his training for the Chinese team, participating in the festivities and auction for the charity gala — and play in that game — he quickly moved from those activities into some commercial ones.

Below is a photo of Yao opening up his California Fitness concept in Beijing (click here for the article when it was announced in May), with participation in the launch of the fitness center by Jackie Chan and many of the players who came over from the U.S. for the charity game.

Before this event, Yao attended a ceremony held by Visa International and China Construction Bank to launch the CBC Visa Ming card, with Yao Ming also being named Visa’s global image spokesperson.

He also attended the press conference held between the NBA and KongZhong Corporation to announce a new mobile WAP-based service that will provide NBA fans in China with a broad range of content options including news, scores, editorial content, player interviews, TV schedules, wallpapers, ring tones, video clips and live NBA games.

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Yao scores 21 points in charity game

Friday, September 14th, 2007
by John
Steve Nash and Yao meet at half court Friday night after the charity game they held in Beijing to benefit poor children in Western China.  Yao scored 21, while Nash scored 13.Steve Nash and Yao meet at half court Friday night after the charity game they held in Beijing to benefit poor children in Western China. Yao scored 21, while Nash scored 13. Click here for photos from the pre-game warmup and introductions. Click here for photos from the game.

Yao Ming scored 21 points in his charity game played in Beijing Friday night in which the Chinese team won 101-92. Steve Nash scored 13 points, and interestingly, it sounds like Carmelo Anthony played for the Chinese team in the second half, not Yao Ming as was expected.

Yi Jianlian scored 20 points for the Chinese, and Phoenix Sun Leandro Barbosa led all scorers with 22 points.

Click here for photos from the pre-game warmup and festivities, which includes Jackie Chan making a cameo.

Click here for more photos from the game (and animated images of some cool Chinese team dunks!).

Yao and Nash pics from their charity gala

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
by John

Our Raymond in China has posted in the YaoMania! forum photos related to the Steve Nash and Yao Ming charity basketball gala in Beijing leading up to their exhibition game tomorrow.

Click here for tons of interesting pics from the gala…

…and here for photos of performers at the event, as well as very cool items that were auctioned off in which Yao contributed US$ 33,000 of his own money to raise 7 million CNY (approximately US$ 931,000) for charity. Man, it looks like it was alot of fun to be there!

Yao turns 27, meets with Nash and other NBA players in China

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming turned 27 yesterday and attended a press conference that welcomed Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Chuck Hayes, Carmelo Anthony and other NBA players who are in Beijing for a charity basketball game this week.

Our Raymond in China has done a great job of posting photos from the press conference as well as the American players’ siteseeing trip around Beijing. For a translated report from the press conference and Yao’s philanthropy emphasis, click here.

Yao’s Taiwan trip ends with a bang

Monday, September 10th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming does a great job of impersonating a point guard at a celebrity basketball game at National Taiwan University.

Click here for photos and Raymond’s recap of the game where Yao seemed to have alot of fun throwing no-look passes and throwing down lots of dunks. Perhaps it’s a sneak peak of what to expect in the Rick Adelman era.

After the game, Yao ended his trip by returning to Beijing.

Yao’s Taiwan trip continues

Saturday, September 8th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming had a productive day in Hsinchu today.

He played the Nintendo Wii with some school kids, as pictured above.

He also had a round-table discussion with some IT executives who are basketball fans, and just like I thought he might do, was able to go against the restriction by the Taiwanese government that he not raise funds for charity by auctioning off 70 autographed basketballs for over US$ 200,000 to help fund Taiwanese kids’ basketball programs.

The previous day after his arrival in Taiwan, Yao visited Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.

Click here for photos from Yao’s visit to Taipei 101 and his day in Hsinchu. Thanks to Raymond for the news and pics.

Yao arrives in Taiwan

Friday, September 7th, 2007
by John

Yao Ming arrived in Taipei today.


Our Raymond is covering his trip in the YaoMania! forum.

As Raymond points out, the trip is somewhat of a mystery because Yao’s original intention for the trip was to raise money for charity, but the Taiwanese government has set up some tight restrictions in approving his visit. For example, he can’t raise funds for charity, can’t have a press conference, can’t promote anything commercial, and can’t mention the 2008 Olympics or torch relay.

He will teach some kids how to play basketball, and will be playing a little bit of pickup basketball. However, something tells me that Yao is going to slip a few references to one or some of these things during his trip. What are they going to do? Kick him out of the country?