I was listening to an old interview that Shane Battier gave to a local radio station a couple of weeks ago, and I was struck by this conversation that Shane had with the interviewer talking about Yao getting little respect from referees, but still manages to maintain his cool.
Interviewer: “Yao never loses it against players who are beating him all the time…”
Shane: “He’s amazing. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the entire league. Anybody.”
Interviewer: “Do you guys take up for him to officials during the game?”
Shane: “Oh yeah, no question, no question.”
Interviewer: “What do they say to you?”
Shane: “I don’t know. They just sort of blow us off. I don’t know what it is about Yao. I wish Yao would even go after the refs a little harder and just let them know, hey, ‘I’m a 6-7 year All-Star in this league.’ I deserve some calls sometime.”
I love Shane for his loyalty toward Yao.
On another front, Raymond has translated an interview that Yao gave to Sohu Sports where he talks about improved cohesion in the locker room, his performance late in games, and what will happen with the team when Tracy McGrady returns to the line-up.
Finally, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle wrote an excellent article about Yao’s effectiveness in the fourth quarter.