I know it has been over a month since the last game on the Yao Foundation Charity Tour game in Taiwan, and the game in Beijing a few days before that.
It was such a great trip, I’ve had time to reflect and look at other photos and notes I took beyond the 4 videos and other blog posts I’ve already published. So I didn’t want them to go to waste. Plus, it’s the dog days of summer until the Rockets’ training camp starts up in a few weeks, so you’re probably looking for a Yao Ming or Rocket fix anyway.
Before I get to the photos below, I had some great conversations with many of the players on the tour. I’ve already posted mentions from some of those conversations, like with Chase Budinger, who was very cool and personable. I spoke to Budinger’s agent Bill Duffy, whose agency played a major role in organizing the NBA players to come over to play in Asia.
I asked Duffy how things may be different for Chase this coming season with the Rockets. Duffy responded, “(Chase) has proven himself. He is valuable. He’s versatile. The thing I’m excited to see is him playing with Yao Ming to see what he does ‘inside-out.’ When Yao Ming gets double-teamed, to be (Yao’s) release and his cutter. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m very excited about it.”
At the end of the trip, I also spoke another Bill Duffy & Associates player: Dajuan Summers, who was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the 2009 draft.
I asked Dajuan about some of the differences between playing in the U.S. and playing in Asia on Yao’s charity tour. Dajuan replied, “It surprised me how big we are over here. How much publicity we get. It’s kind of crazy. They treat us like rock stars. People show us love in the States, but it’s on a completely different scale over here.” Dajuan also said he was amazed to witness the very strong reaction fans in China and Taiwan had to Yao Ming, and he said he’d love to come back to Asia next year if they have another charity tour game.
Okay, on to some of my behind-the-scenes photos:
Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin meet for the first time before the charity game in Taipei, Taiwan (7/28/10). For more information about Jeremy, read my other post here.
Yao poses for a photo with Jeremy Lin and his family.
Chase and Yao talk in the locker room in Taipei.
Aaron Brooks hams it up before the game in Taipei.
Aaron continues to have fun twirling anything he can find on his finger.
Yao watches the game in Taipei from the sidelines.
Jeremy Lin seemed to get more questions from the Taiwan press than Yao Ming, Bill Duffy, or any of the Taiwanese players or coaches combined.