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Lots of pics of Dwight and Yao from presser, fan rally

Monday, July 15th, 2013
by John

You have probably seen some of the coverage from Saturday’s press conference and fan rally of Dwight Howard becoming a Houston Rocket, but it’s still worthy of covering here on YaoMania.

Yao was there to welcome him into the “Legacy of Bigs” in Houston. Below are some pics, along with links to more photos and slideshows.

July 13, 2013 - Yao Ming sits among former Rocket greats and current Rocket Chandler Parsons (at end)

July 13, 2013 - Yao Ming shares a laugh with Clyde Drexler at the Dwight Howard press conference

July 13, 2013 - Yao Ming stands behind Dwight Howard as he holds up his jersey.  Former Rocket Calvin Murphy looks on.

July 13, 2013 - Dwight Howard poses at his press conference with former Rocket players, including Yao Ming

July 13, 2013 - Yao Ming stands behind Dwight Howard as he shakes hands with a press conference attendee

July 13, 2013 - Yao Ming pictured with former Rocket big men Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes with Dwight Howard at center

July 13, 2013 - A reported crowd of 10,000 people show up for the Dwight Howard welcome rally
Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

July 13, 2013 - Dwight Howard takes a photo of the crowd that came to greet him at his welcome rally
Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

July 13, 2013 - Yao stands behind Dwight Howard outside Toyota Center at his welcome rally

July 13, 2013 - Dwight Howard and Hakeem Olajuwon raise their hands to the crowd outside Toyota Center at Howard's welcome rally

July 13, 2013 - A big poster entitled "Legacy of Bigs" is revealed to the crowd outside Toyota Center

If you want to see more slideshows from Saturday’s events, click here, here and here (courtesy Rockets.com, Sports790.com and the Houston Chronicle).

Flashback video: Yao swings a golf club and hits a friend

Friday, August 5th, 2011
by John

You probably saw the photo we posted a couple of days ago of Yao playing golf in Shanghai. Yao told Sohu.com a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to learn how to play the game now that he is retired and has more time.

Well, you might not remember, but about 7-8 years ago, Yao had his first exposure to golf. Below is an “animated gif” (remember those, before the days of Youtube and online video becoming pervasive?) of Yao trying out a golf club on the Rockets’ practice court in Houston.

Unfortunately, on the backswing, he hit his friend Andy Yao in the head! You can tell it didn’t hurt Andy, but it’s hilarious as you’ll see through Yao and Andy’s reaction! (the animated image may take a few seconds to load)

Yao and actress Zhang Ziyi send-off Special Olympics athletes to Athens

Monday, June 20th, 2011
by John

On Sunday, June 19th in Beijing, Yao Ming and actress Zhang Ziyi (both Global Ambassadors for Special Olympics China) attended a send-off ceremony for the delegation that will soon be leaving for Athens for the 2011 Special Olympics Games. Pictured below are both of them answering questions from the press.

June 19, 2011 - Yao Ming with actress Zhang Ziyi answering reporters' questions at a Special Olympics send-off ceremony

For more photos from the send-off ceremony, click here.

Yao Ming and Zhang Ziyi will also go to Athens for the opening ceremony of the Games. Yao told reporters he is excited, and is looking forward to seeing his old pal Dikembe Mutombo, who is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics.

After the ceremony at the China Administration of Sports for Persons with Disabilities, Yao Ming went to greet the basketball team, and track and field team.

June 19, 2011 - Yao Ming meets with the Chinese basketball team that will be attending the Special Olympics games in Athens, Greece

Meanwhile, Zhang Ziyi went to greet the gymnastics team.

June 19, 2011 - Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi meets the Chinese gymnastics team headed to the Special Olympics in Athens

For more photos of Yao Ming and Zhang Ziyi meeting the teams, click here.

Yao staying active in China with his charities

Friday, June 10th, 2011
by John

Raymond reports in the forum that Yao has been keeping busy the past couple of days in China. You have to give Yao credit for not just sitting around — that’s just not in his DNA

On Thursday, June 9th (China time), Yao flew to Jiuquan City of Gansu from Shanghai via Xian. After 10 hours of travel, he went straight to the Jiuquan Municipal Sports Academy without any rest.

June 9, 2011 - Yao Ming at the Jiuquan Municipal Sports Academy

For more photos from Yao’s visit to the sports academy, click here.

Waiting at the sports academy were approximately 20 students with intellectual disabilities who attend the Jiuquan Nash - Yao Foundation Special Education School that Yao’s Foundation funded and built. Since Yao is a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, he conducted a basketball clinic for the students there.

One of the students of the school, Chen Xiaorong, will be representing China in the upcoming 13th Special Olympics to be held in Athens in June. Yao specifically picked her out, gave her a pair of running shoes, and encouraged Chen to believe in herself and give her best performance in Athens.

On Friday, June 10th, Yao presided over the inauguration ceremony at the school, which had been open a few months already, but Yao was there to commemorate its opening.

June 10, 2011 - Yao Ming at the inauguration ceremony of the Jiuquan Nash - Yao Foundation Special Education School

For more photos of Yao at the school, click here.

This is the first special education school in the city of Jiuquan for physically and intellectually disabled children. It cost 7 million RMB to build, co-funded by the Shanghai Special Care Foundation, the Yao Ming Foundation, Youth Development Foundation of Gansu Province, and People’s Government of the Suzhou District of Jiuquan City. The Shanghai Special Care Foundation (of which Yao Ming is one of the founders) and Yao Ming Foundation contributed 2.5 million RMB for the undertaking.

After the ceremony, Yao toured the facilities with municipal leaders from Jiuquan City.

Yao said he wished the completion of the special education school will provide the handicapped children the facilities they need to improve intellectually and physically, and urged that more attention be placed on special education requirements in society. Yao thanked his team, as well as Steve Nash, for their contribution and help in the undertaking.

Rockets will hire Kevin McHale as coach

Friday, May 27th, 2011
by John

Hot off the presses here

Yao is back in China for the summer (with family). Reporters miss spotting baby Amy Yao

Friday, May 27th, 2011
by John

Raymond reports in the forum the following about Yao:

He arrived back in China on Thursday, May 26th after staying in Houston the past 3 weeks, and brought his wife Ye Li and baby daughter Amy Yao Qinlei.

Because it is the first time that Amy Yao has ever been in China, a large number of reporters gathered at the VIP entrance of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (as well as Yao Ming’s home), trying to get a glimpse of the family.

However, they were unsuccessful since Yao and family left through a different airport exit, and didn’t return to their old home in the Xuhui District but to a new home somewhere else. But there was at least one photo taken of Yao at the airport with an immigrations official.

May 26, 2011 - Yao Ming poses with an immigration official at the Shanghai airport

According to sources at the airport, daughter Amy Yao uses a U.S. passport, and is a little bit taller than most one year old babies her age (no surprise there).

Given the looming NBA lockout for next season, and the fact that he will be a free agent this summer with his future in NBA still pending, it seems that Yao is going to stay in China at least through the summer according to his representative Erik Zhang Mingii.

Some of the things that are on his current schedule are the following:

  • Organize a birthday party in Shanghai for his daughter, who just celebrated her first birthday in Houston on May 21st.
  • Meetings with Team Yao about the team he owns, the Shanghai MAXXIS Sharks.
  • Continue to work out details of the 3rd Yao Ming Foundation Charity Game/Gala, which will be held in Shanghai in August.
  • An inauguration ceremony in Ganxu in June for another Yao Foundation Project Hope primary school.
  • Towards end of June, he will travel to Athens with the Chinese Special Olympics delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens (June 25 ~ July 4) since he is the Global Ambassador of the Special Olympics
  • Basketball and other commercial related activities in July and August
  • Continued rehabilitation on his ankle.

Yao visits elementary school today; ankle is healing well; would like to play in Houston next season

Thursday, May 19th, 2011
by John

Yao visited an elementary school in Houston today to make good on a commitment he made for an auction from the Tux & Tennies Gala. Lucky first-grader Jackson Loyd’s parents won the auction to have Yao visit Jackson’s school today.

May 19, 2011 - Yao Ming visits an elementary school in Houston as part of a commitment he made for a Tux & Tennies charity auction

Click here and here for more photos from Yao’s visit at the school (courtesy Houston Chronicle).

Yao also told a Chronicle reporter today that he had a checkup on his ankle Wednesday, and the report is positive that the stress fracture is healing properly. Yao said he doesn’t know yet if he will be able to play next season, but will know more by August or September.

Currently, Yao said he is able to do some light jogging and weight lifting. If he can play next season, he would like to play in Houston.

“I’d like to be here. Nowhere else is better than Houston for me right now.”

Rockets’ owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey have expressed an interest for Yao to return if he’s healthy.

Thanks to Rockets for an inspiring season; You’ll love “Scorecasting” (new book)

Monday, April 11th, 2011
by John

It was a tough week for Rocket fans as Houston got mathematically eliminated for the second season in a row. It’s going to be an interesting off-season regarding Yao Ming’s potential return to the NBA, if he does return where he’ll play, if head coach Rick Adelman and his staff will be back, what players they will try to pursue, if a lockout will be averted, etc.

This current Rockets’ team played very hard and almost pulled off the impossible by making the playoffs after a poor 0-5 start and not having Yao Ming for virtually the entire season. You’ve got to be respect what they did. I’m already looking forward to next season, and this season hasn’t even finished yet.

On a completely different note, if you are looking for a good read about NBA basketball and sports in general, I highly recommend a book I’m currently reading titled “Scorecasting - The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports are Played and Games are Won.” If you subscribe to the Daryl Morey school of sports analytics, There’s lots of great information in there about NBA officiating and many other topics too numerous to mention. Check out the book’s web site here.

Rockets presser video on Yao’s condition, who is out for the season

Friday, December 17th, 2010
by John

Today a press conference was held at Toyota Center with Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey and Dr. Walter Lowe, team doctor for the Rockets. Yao didn’t attend. He’s also not at Toyota Center where the Rockets are blowing out the Memphis Grizzlies 61-33 at halftime.

Here’s a link to the presser video on Rockets.com. Here’s a summary of the press conference posted on Chron.com.

I’ll also update this post with quotes that aren’t in the Chronicle article in the next hour or so.

Yao to play 24 minutes per game max

Thursday, September 16th, 2010
by John

Interesting article from the Houston Chronicle that confirms the Rockets will limit Yao’s minutes to 24 minutes of playing time each game. That means if he only plays 20 minutes one game, like in the case of an early blowout, he won’t be allowed to play 28 minutes the next game.

They will also limit him from scrimmaging in practice the day after a game. He’ll practice, like shooting drills, but won’t be running up and down the court. He also won’t play much, if at all, in back-to-back games.

This philosophy could change as the Rockets and Yao’s surgeon evaluate his progress through the season, but I don’t anticipate much of a change until the playoffs, as they acknowledge in the article.

I like the approach the Rockets are taking, and Yao is on board with it. We’re entering somewhat unchartered waters with a 7′6″ center entering a season after having major foot surgery like what Yao had, so discretion is the better part of valor.

And the Rockets are so deep, they can afford to give Yao and several of their veterans more rest this season to reduce wear-and-tear. And I always liked the idea of saving your veterans for the playoff grind.