Yao was able to attend the Rockets’ home opener Saturday night against Portland. Because he’s still on crutches, it will obviously be a hassle for him to attend every game. Our Raymond has posted in the YaoMania forum photos of Yao at the game, which the Rockets won thanks to astounding performances by Trevor Ariza (33 points) and Aaron Brooks (28 points).
Click here for more photos of Yao at the game.
YaoMania met briefly with Yao on Friday afternoon to get caught up on what he’s been doing lately.
He’s had his cast off for a few weeks now and said his foot feels good. As seen in the photos from Saturday night, Yao is wearing a black boot and brace when he goes out. He currently leaves home to workout 5 days a week at Toyota Center with his personal trainer Anthony Falsone in the mornings. Falsone will pick Yao up at his house since he can’t drive yet because of his foot.
Because Yao is so diligent in going to Toyota Center to work out early each morning, he wasn’t able to watch all of the Rockets’ first two road games because those games started so late on the West Coast, so he couldn’t really speak too much about the performance of the team at that time. But he said the excellent play of Chuck Hayes (who led the NBA in steals after two games) and Luis Scola‘s game Wednesday night against Golden State (21 points) didn’t surprise him at all because he has seen how good those guys have been over the past few years.
We talked a little bit about the anti-smoking campaign in China with which he has aligned himself. He said no one in his immediate family has smoked because of their involvement in athletics all their lives, but he sees the effects of second-hand smoke in his country, and has a hard time dealing with it whenever he’s around second-hand smoke.