Two new articles from Reuters and CNN quote Yao on more insightful comments about Jeremy Lin (click here to see both articles). Here are the best excerpts (Yao’s quotes are in red):
“Shanghai-native Yao said Lin, who stands 1.91m, could change the way China selects and trains its basketball players.”
“This is something else that Jeremy Lin has brought to us. It has given us something to reflect on, whether there are imperfections over the development and selection process for our basketball players over the past 10 or 20 years.”
“Yao said he had known Lin was a good player but was stunned that he was able to reproduce the sensational form night after night.”
“I am very surprised but also very happy. When he played well in his first game I thought this was a great start and perhaps he would soon have more stable game time.
“But I never thought he would perform up to such levels as he had today.”
“Lin has said he communicates often with Yao, who he regards as a role model. Yao said he did not have much advice to give because of their different backgrounds but had always encouraged and cheered him on.
“First, New York and Houston are different. Also, the cultures of the two basketball teams are different, the cities are different, the team mates he faces are different, so I don’t wish to tell him too much.
“If I do so, perhaps I will give him too much pressure.”
“We have a lot of talented young athletes here who are passionate about basketball. They all want be the next Jeremy.
“I think they can relate more to Jeremy because they’re more common-sized.”
“The easy part is to find a strong basketball player — I have the size; Shaquille O’Neal: big and strong; Kobe, LeBron, all those names. Jeremy has basketball IQ — you can’t program that.
“He’s the kind of player I’d like to play with if I’m still a player — he’s a team player and everybody likes the way he wins a game. Honestly, he did much more than I’d expected.”
“He gives a lot of hope to kids with the same background like his: Asian-Americans, second generation or maybe third.”
“They can follow his footprints and have more confidence in playing basketball.”
“I know people talk about me giving him tips — it’s really not that. I just congratulated him and said I’m happy for him.”
“I told him we’ll support him and I’m a big fan of his.”