I want to introduce a new contributor to the Yao Ming Mania editorial team. Of course, you’ve known about Raymond in China for years, who has been extremely valuable to making the YMM community what it is today. Today I’d like to announce that Ren Hsieh of the Houston Chronicle’s ‘Yao Central’ blog will be posting here on YMM.
I’ve always respected Ren’s observations, and like me, all of his writing has been a volunteer effort without any pay coming from it whatsoever. I recently asked Ren if he would want to join forces, and he thought it was a good idea, too. And proving how small of a world it is, although Ren now lives in New York, we both grew up in the same Houston suburb! It was meant to be.
With that said, I’m not sure what will be in store for the site heading into the 2008-09 NBA season. We’re currently in the works to figure out a business model that can help sustain the site. Your donations in the past have been much appreciated, but we can’t expect donations to keep it running. But hopefully with the help of Team Yao, we’ll be able to work through it and make this upcoming season bigger and better than ever, thanks to contributions from Raymond and Ren.
Without further delay, below is Ren’s first blog post on YMM! — John
Watching the closing ceremonies last night really summed up nicely the entire 2008 Beijing Olympic experience. People from all over the world in one place relishing in a singular exultant moment, and then it was all over. Not without its tragedies, not without its share of controversy; but also not without its glory and extraordinary folklore, the Beijing Olympics comes suddenly to an end and now everyone must return to real life in the real world. And not, perhaps, without a sense of longing that the real world should be something like that.
Yao has a few weeks now to decompress before returning to the NBA grind. As you can tell from Raymond’s translation of Yao’s Titan Sports interview, it was well worth it to him—and it’s hard to expect he won’t do it again in 2012. We can argue over the practicality of that all we want, but at least we know for now, Yao looks very close to being in shape for the 2008-09 NBA season. So, without really having to shift gears, the goal for Yao’s Rockets is much like the goals for Yao’s Team China. Get to the medal round, advance. What the heck, win it all, Houston’s odds are better.
With this running theme of new beginnings that played throughout the Olympics (the new China, the Redeem Team redeemed, Phelps, Bolt upping the ante), Yao’s 7th season with the Rockets seems to carry over some of that same optimism, at least for me. I haven’t had time to really dissect the implications of Ron Artest (which is probably a good thing) and maybe capping off the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I’m wistful still for more, Zhang Yimou’s closing ceremony certainly didn’t help. But misguided optimism or not, I couldn’t think of a better time to submit this first post to YMM. It’s gonna be a heckuva season. Thanks John for having me.