Yao gave an exclusive interview to Fox 26 Houston where he talks about becoming a father for the first time. It aired Friday night (ignore the cheesy bail bondsman ad that plays the first few seconds). This interview about his baby is more in-depth than what we have seen in the Chinese media.
Here’s a full recap of the interview on the Fox26 Web site. Below is the part of the article that isn’t in the video interview:
Yao is always sensitive to Chinese tradition, but keeping this news under wraps wasn’t easy.
“It’s very hard,” Yao said. “It’s been very, very hard. You kind of feel that it is the best thing you ever get in your life.
“That’s something that inspires you.”
Once the news was out that Yao will become a father soon, he began getting advice from everywhere, especially from within the Rockets team.
“It’s easy to say right now I am going to take more responsibility and I have to take care of my family,” Yao said. “It’s easy to say, but harder is how to do it.
“I have to say I have no experience now and I’ve been told by some of my teammates, (guard) Aaron Brooks, you know he’s younger than me. He tells me his experience of how to be a father. That’s very strange.”
It will be real strange if the 7’6 Yao Ming hits the floor when his child his born like he jokingly fears.
“Hope I’m not passed out,” Yao said. “I will put my baby on the bed before I pass out.”
He is also keenly aware that dad has to take care of the baby when mother is not available and that can mean some long nights for a professional athlete who needs his sleep.
“I think next season I come back to play with some sleepy eyes, people don’t be surprised,” Yao said.
Yao said he and his wife have already come to grips with the fact the birth of their first child is world-wide news
“I have to deal with that,” Yao said. “I really appreciate a lot of guys pray for my baby.
“I got a lot of e-mails and messages so happy about (me) having a baby. It’s all good things. I appreciate those people who really care.”
After Yao and his wife have their first child, they will look forward to having another.
“I plan to have more than one kid because you know the law we have in China, one child for each family,” Yao said. “I feel a little bit lonely when growing up.
“I still had a lot of neighborhood kids, played together. I would liked to have had either a big brother or sister to protect me or a younger brother or sister I can command.
“In our situation we are allowed. Me and my wife are both only child from our families. Follow law we can have two.”
In a few months Yao, his wife and all of their relatives will celebrate a new addition to their family.
At some point after the baby is born Yao will share his joy with the world, but not right away.
“I try to enjoy (my) privacy,” Yao said. “That’s a big time for our family.
“The next generation come out. While it’s not the first kid in our family, a big family, but still big for me. I have no words now. I have no words.”
On a completely different note, on Wednesday Yao attended the opening of a new restaurant that bears his name. It’s the second “Yao Restaurant & Bar” in Houston, this one being downtown very close to Toyota Center. Interestingly, it’s a Japanese sushi bar. It’s funded and run by friends of the family, not by Yao or his parents.
Click here for photos from the opening, as well as an article about the restaurant.