Yao Ming Mania! All about Chinese basketball star and NBA All-Star Yao Ming » Miscellaneous

'Miscellaneous' category archive

Good NY Times article talks about Rockets & Yao

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
by John

This article appeared in the NYT on Saturday. It’s a complimentary piece about the Rockets and Yao, and a good recap of what the Rockets have done this year in anticipation of Yao’s return (if you haven’t been tracking the team closely this season).

Here are some of the quotes I liked:

No lottery-bound team is poised for a more rapid turnaround, however. It all depends on the health of Yao’s left foot. Yao, the 7-foot-6 center, had surgery last July and is expected back next season. He will rejoin a lineup that has grown deeper and more mature in his absence.

[Daryl Morey] “The reality is, you need a guy like Yao Ming to win the title. We don’t have another way to acquire a guy as good as him. It makes sense no matter what the situation is for us to bet on that.”

Another Yao week in review

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
by John

Yao attended the Rockets-Boston game at Toyota Center. Unfortunately, the Rockets didn’t prevail in the game, but Aaron Brooks had an impressive high-five with Yao before the game started.

Click here for more photos from the game.

On Tuesday, Yao attended a carnival at Toyota Center the Rockets held to thank season ticket holders. Yao posed for photographs with some of the fans, like these…

Click here for more photos from the carnival.

A day or two before the carnival, Yao opened up his home privately to promote his upcoming charity gala on March 28th in Houston. Here is a write-up of the event from CultureMap.com

Yes, but the press was not allowed and no photos were taken. So we can’t tell you if the door frames of Houston Rocket Yao Ming’s home are exceptionally high or the furnishings are super-sized. Those who were invited in were leaders of the Asian community, business execs and members of the Yao Ming Foundation Gala host committee.

While Ming spoke about his foundation’s work aiding earthquake victims in China, the point of the gathering was to stir interest in the March 28 gala at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Chinese dancers will perform. Emmy award-winning chef Ming Tsai will present a food demonstration and singer Michael Cavanaugh, the Billy Joel sound-alike, will perform. Expect a tantalizing dinner courtesy of Yao Restaurant and Bar.

Tickets start at $500 with limited availability at this lowest price.

Yao makes appearance at Rockets’ holiday party

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
by John

It’s been a little quiet on the Yao front the past couple of weeks, but earlier this week Yao showed up at Toyota Center for the Rockets’ holiday party thrown for season ticket holders. Since he’s still wearing a boot on his foot, Yao mainly stayed seated in one position.

Here are some cute photos of Yao putting VIP tags on the wrists of some of the kids…

Click here for photos of other Rockets players at the holiday party.

Yao gives a shout-out to Obama

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
by John

Yao just posted this on his Facebook/Twitter:

“I hear Obama is in Shanghai, my hometown. Welcome to China. Hope you enjoy. Like NYC, the best food is sold on streets (I know u r busy tho)”

It’s good to see Yao’s sense of humor is still in strong form.

Yao joins anti-smoking campaign

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
by John

Click here for more info from Raymond in the forum. Looks like Yao will be doing some public service announcements about it soon, all for a good cause. As the article notes…

It is estimated that about 350 million Chinese, or nearly 27 percent of the country’s total population, are consumers of one third of tobacco products around the world.

Each year about one million Chinese die from lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases that can be directly linked to tobacco use, according to the CATC.

Passive smoking, commonly known as secondhand smoke, also put the health of additional 540 million Chinese under threat, partly due to weak enforcement of smoking ban in public places.

A terrible day for the Rockets, and yours truly

Monday, May 18th, 2009
by John

Sunday afternoon turned out to be a horrendous day for me, and not just because the Rockets lost another Game 7.  That’s almost inconsequential the way I’m feeling right now.

As you may know from my earlier post, I decided late Saturday night to buy a ticket online from Ticketmaster under a program they call TicketExchange where you can buy tickets from season ticket holders who put their own seats up for sale to anyone who comes to the Lakers’ Ticketmaster Web site, and pick them up from “will call” the day of the game.

So I flew to LA on Sunday morning and everything was going fine.  Flight down there.  Check.  Rental car pickup.  Check.  Parking.  Check.  Laptop in hand to be able to take some notes and maybe use the Internet during the game (if Staples makes it available like Toyota Center does).  Check.

That’s when things started going south.

When I went to the will call area at Staples, they have this kiosk where you can swipe your credit card to have your will call tickets printed from the machine.  I tried doing that on two different kiosks, but it didn’t work.  The message on the kiosk screen said go to a will call ticket window staffed by a human.  So I did that.

I had my iPhone in my hand as well as my brand new Macbook, and set them down on the counter so I could reach for my wallet and pull out my ID.  (NOTE: Because I was attending this game not as part of the official media, they don’t let regular fans come in with backpacks or cases.  So I had to carry everything in my hands).

As I was giving my ID to the will call agent, all of a sudden I heard this loud “boom!” on the counter, I looked down, AND BOTH MY IPHONE AND MY MACBOOK WERE GONE!!!  I guess the loud sound was someone slamming their hand down on it and running away with it!

I looked behind me to see if anyone was fleeing the scene, but there was no one other than a whole bunch of people standing around who were in line to get their tickets.  Then I asked if anyone had seen anything, and no one did.  Then I went over to 2 police officers, and they said they didn’t see anything, either, and they couldn’t help me and that I should talk to building security.  What a waste.  Later I found out these guys were “off-duty” police officers who were hired as private contractors to stand there to deter criminals, but if anything happens, they refer you to Staples security, and you’re essentially S.O.L.  WTF??!!!!

So I basically had to become like a crazy man running around like Jim Valvano after NC State beat the University of Houston in 1983, going back-and-forth between the off-duty police, building security, and on-duty officers hoping that the thief was still in the vicinity and could be caught.  Meanwhile, every minute that elapsed was giving the thief a better chance of getting away or blending in with the crowd.

It’s a long story on what I tried to do for the next 3 hours trying to find my iPhone and Mac Book, like waiting 45 minutes for a detective to show up at the Staples Center police sub-station who could take a police report.

I couldn’t focus on the game at all and was trying to get the Staples Center security to take a closer look at the video taken from cameras above the will call area to see if they had a recording of what happened.  I had to lobby with 4 layers of bureaucracy to find the person who would ultimately watch the tape to see if they could find the perpetrator  They wouldn’t let me into their “restricted area” where all of their security monitors are, so I had to trust they were going to be diligent looking at the footage.  Meanwhile, I spent alot of time walking around Staples hoping by chance I might come across someone carrying my laptop under their arm.

I’m angry at Ticketmaster for their kiosks not working as designed.  That forced me to go to lines with lots of other people around, some with bad characters in those lines looking to prey on unsuspecting people.

All of this explains to you why I couldn’t Tweet during the game on my phone, because I didn’t have the tools to do so!  Most of the time I was working hard to get the security guys and police around Staples to work on my case.  I could see what was going on during the game through the TVs in the concourse, and because the game wasn’t going well at all, it allowed me to focus on trying to help solve the crime that just happened.

So now I’m in the process of talking to Apple, and the police, about seeing if there’s a way to recover my gear.  Luckily I password-protected my machine, so alot of my private data *should* be safe.  And of course, the major problem is the data that is on the machine may now be gone forever.  Like most people, I hadn’t backed up the data very much.  The amount of time it will take to try to piece just some of the data back together will take forever, with no way for me to put it all back together again.  Dozens of hours of work are on that machine, as well as lots of vacation photos I recently took.

As you can guess, I’m not too thrilled about writing about what happened in Game 7, partly because I didn’t see much of it, but also because it looks like all the players and myself had awful days.  So let’s try to move on without rehashing the angst.

I guess there’s also a part of me that hopes whoever stole my stuff will catch wind of this post, realize the iPhone and MacBook are no good to them since they’re both password protected, and contact me at john @ yaomingfanclub.com, and ship them to me  intact with the deal I won’t pursue prosecution after the police identifies the thief on the security camera tape.

So who would have thunk after me seeing almost every Rockets game this season, I wasn’t able to see the biggest game of the year.  Looks like I didn’t miss much.

Fran surfaces again with a great article about Yao

Monday, April 20th, 2009
by John

I was just checking out Yahoo Sports and found that Fran Blinebury — laid off from the Houston Chronicle a few weeks ago — has contributed an article to Yahoo’s NBA section, maybe as part of his new gig with Titan Sports.

It’s a nice article about Yao, and contrasts his mentality with Tracy McGrady‘s. Although McGrady is out of sight, I like how Blinebury continues to remind everyone exactly why McGrady is not missed.

Rockets take a break with the Bushes

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
by John

I like how after the Rockets victory over the Hornets Tuesday night, all the players took time to stop their post-game routine and show respect to former President George Bush and wife Barbara.

It’s clear in this photo all the players are sweaty and probably wanted to head to the shower, but showed their respect anyway by greeting them and posing for photos.

Earlier in the evening, Bush accepted a $100,000 check on behalf of the Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund raised by the Rockets from the Tux & Tennies Charity Gala.

Click here for more photos of George & Barbara’s visit at Toyota Center. Thanks to Raymond for finding the pics!

Making the case for Daryl

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
by John

I enjoyed this article written by Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports about how Daryl Morey should be named NBA Executive of the Year.

I especially liked this quote:

“Once you factor defense and usage in, Wafer is giving the Rockets exactly what McGrady was giving them, while working for about $800k a season. McGrady goes down, be it for the season or a fortnight, Wafer steps into some of those open minutes, and the team continues apace. In most cases, the team plays better, because Wafer doesn’t chuck and consider himself an All-Star, unlike McGrady.”

Yao’s foot is okay! He should play Monday

Sunday, April 12th, 2009
by John

Late Sunday the Chronicle reported that the bone scan on Yao’s foot was negative, his foot is just a little sore, and he should be able to resume all normal activities, including playing in Monday’s game against the Hornets!

Earlier in the day, Yao practiced lightly then later heard the good news.

Click here for more photos from the practice. Click here for video from the practice, including Yao’s thoughts about the soreness he experienced this time around in his right foot, compared to last season the pain he had in his left foot that ultimately sidelined him for the playoffs.