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Video interview of Rockets’ Jeremy Lin

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
by John

Rockets.com posted a video on Tuesday of an interview with new Rocket Jeremy Lin. You might remember the Rockets signed Lin last week (details here). Click this link or the image below for the video (a new window will open).

December 20th, 2011 - Jeremy Lin is interviewed by Rockets.com

Rockets sign Jeremy Lin

Monday, December 12th, 2011
by John

With all the drama that went on with Rockets Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic over the past few days with the proposed Lakers-Hornets-Rockets trade being rescinded by NBA commissioner David Stern, there was some refreshing and happy news when the Rockets surprisingly signed Chinese/Taiwanese-American Jeremy Lin.

For Rocket fans who are Asian-American sad that Yao isn’t representin’ any longer, having Lin around gives them something extra to look forward to.

December 11th, 2011 - Jeremy Lin signs with the Rockets during training camp
Photo courtesy Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle

Lin was released from the Golden State Warriors on the first day of training camp. Apparently the Warriors are trying to save as much money as they can so they can have a better chance of landing a high-priced free agent. Lin’s contract pays him $800,000 this year.

More details about Lin’s release is here.

Since the Rockets are in a similar position of trying to sign a big free agent, you wouldn’t have expected them to add a 4th point guard (behind Kyle Lowry, Johnny Flynn, Goran Dragic). But you can probably expect Dragic will be traded one of these days (to our chagrin) since he was part of that rescinded trade with the Hornets, so maybe Lin could stick around as the Rockets’ third PG. Or the Rockets will be getting rid of Lin quickly like they do with other players where you think they will be around awhile, only trading them within a season or two for other “pieces” (Dragic, Trevor Ariza, Kevin Martin, etc.)

Here’s a link to a short article in the Houston Chronicle about Lin’s signing.

Here’s a video of Lin meeting Yao Ming in Taiwan (around the 1:10 mark) during Yao’s charity basketball tour in the summer of 2010 (and throwing down a dunk at the 8:10 mark), and photos of his meeting are here.

Update: Here’s a video brought to our attention from a commenter below of Lin being interviewed as a Golden State Warrior, along with his coach and fellow players.

Video from Rockets scrimmage, interview of Adelman and Yao

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
by John

The Rockets held their final practice in Austin yesterday, and for the first time all week, they let members of the media in to see the team scrimmage against each other (thank you Rockets!). This was the first real practice the media had been able to watch since training camp started.

It struck me how intense the action was. The players were going “all out” against each other to the point it’s a surprise that no one really got hurt other than Kyle Lowry and Jermaine Taylor bumping their knees into each other earlier in the week, which was minor.

Afterwards, coach Rick Adelman said he wasn’t pleased with what he saw Saturday:

I just didn’t think we came with the energy, or maybe it’s just a long week. They knew they were just going to scrimmage, but I felt we could have played much better. I don’t think we executed very well, especially our main guys. I just thought they weren’t into it. It’s been a long week, but overall, I think it has been a good week.

We don’t have alot of practices now. Like next week we’re going to have four games, so the practices we’ll have will be more breakdown, half-court things.

There are more quotes from Adelman in the video below. Look below the video for a breakdown of the highlights.

0:00 – Kevin Martin and Shane Battier draining shots one after another. I know these guys are professionals and they’re supposed to make these shots, but it’s always amazing to see them do it in person consecutively without missing.

1:16 – Yao warms up before entering the scrimmage

1:33 – Yao plays in the scrimmage. Included are some good plays where he scores. It’s great to see him running the court at full speed.

2:51 – Chuck Hayes drums on Yao’s head playfully

2:53 – More good plays involving Yao

3:25 – Chuck Hayes dunks it and makes everyone in the gym go wild

3:47 – Jared Jeffries scores on a sweet spin move in the lane

3:58 – Yao ends his scrimmage and takes off his shoes and socks, then does stretching drills with new Rockets’ physical therapist Jason Biles

4:14 – Yao does stretches with Darryl Eto, the Rockets’ Director of Strength and Conditioning

4:33 – Kevin Martin scores on a nice jumper off the glass

4:47 – Adelman is interviewed about what they will do now that the schedule changes dramatically (four games next week), the new players who have made an impact (Courtney Lee, Ish Smith, and Patrick Patterson), as well as Yao’s progress during the week in Austin

8:39 – Yao is interviewed

9:11 – Battier goes through some stretching drills on a big stretching rack

Video: Interviews from Day 5 of Austin training camp – Miller & Adelman

Friday, October 1st, 2010
by John

Another day is done at the Rockets’ training camp in Austin. Here’s a photo of some of the Rockets’ heavy hitters after practice all in one spot (which is unusual to see): Luis Scola, Chase Budinger, Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming. You can tell they’re working pretty hard by how fatigued they look (Yao is on the phone).

October 1st, 2010 - Luis Scola, Chase Budinger, Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming after Friday's practice in Austin training camp

Yao said he practiced with the team about the same amount of time he’s been doing all week, which is about half of the team’s scrimmage.

Because Yao goes to the practice facility so early in the morning, I asked if he’s getting enough sleep since he’s working out harder during training camp getting his body prepared for the regular season. Yao replied he is getting enough rest since he’s really not doing anything other than staying in his hotel room at night.

Furthermore, the Rockets’ director of strength and conditioning Darryl Eto said that most of the players are sore having worked so hard in Austin. After practice, many of them go down to the training room to take a cold plunge in an ice bath that goes up to about waist high. That’s probably why Yao is wearing sweats in the above photo since he mentioned the other day after practice that the gym was a little cold, and putting half of his body in ice probably would make him colder.

Since the team left Houston last Sunday night (five days ago), I asked Yao if he missed his wife and baby, and he replied with emphasis, “Yes, I really miss them.”

I got a little bit of video with Yao’s backup, Brad Miller, and his new (and former) coach Rick Adelman. In the video, Adelman refers to “J.T.” which is Jermaine Taylor.

Yao didn’t practice today with team, but is still improving; Adelman interview on video

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
by John

Today in Austin, Yao Ming didn’t work out with the team, given a day of rest that has been part of the ongoing plan. But we did speak to Rockets’ head trainer Keith Jones that each day, including today, Yao comes to the Austin training facility around 8am to do strengthening exercises, long before team practices start around 11:30am. Yao is living up to his reputation as being one of the hardest workers in basketball.

Jones also said the training and conditioning staff can tell that Yao has improved every day, even if Yao himself may not have felt it. It’s those little exercises they have him doing every day that’s helping him run more naturally…better and more physiologically than maybe he’s probably ever run in his life.

Below is an interview that coach Rick Adelman had with the media after practice. There’s too much stuff to transcribe, but he talks about the meeting the team had with league officials yesterday at their hotel. Essentially, the bar has been lowered on the types of technical fouls they will make against players who get too far out of line this season protesting calls.

At the end of the video, Adelman talks about Yao and some of the challenges they face with him being out for so long, and scheduled to play limited minutes.

Video: Interview of Yao after today’s training camp workout

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
by John

Today Yao slightly rolled his ankle during training camp, about halfway through the scrimmage, right about the time he would have stopped anyway. He said it’s no big deal and he should be able to workout tomorrow.

Here’s today’s video interview of Yao from Day 3 of Rockets’ training camp in Austin. You’ll get a kick out of his response to the last question.

And in case you missed it, the NBA tweeted earlier today a link to another article about Yao’s visit to a hospital last Friday to visit a Chinese child who had open heart surgery. His dream had always been to meet Yao Ming, and Yao made that dream come true.

Video interviews from Day 2, Austin training camp

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
by John

Here is more video that I was able to shoot yesterday (Tuesday) at the Rockets’ training camp in Austin. Unfortunately, Yao wasn’t available for interviews since he was in the training room getting standard treatment. But there are 4 more days left of camp here, so I’m sure I’ll have more video of Yao to post here sometime during the rest of the week.

Here’s Courtney Lee, who mentioned that he’s been playing alot of “1″ (point guard) during training camp. That’s interesting since the Rockets already have three in Austin (Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry, and Ish Smith). He responds to the question about him playing the “1″ in camp.

Here’s Shane Battier:

And Rick Adelman:

Video interview of Yao and other Rox after their first day in Austin

Monday, September 27th, 2010
by John

YaoMingMania was there for the first day of Rockets training camp in Austin. I have posted some interviews I recorded, and will update this post with new interviews I find from other media members who were there.

Here’s Yao (you might need to use earphones to hear it better since there’s alot of background noise at first):

And here’s Aaron Brooks:

I also recorded Brooks on audio, asking him first how he felt about going back to China after having been there just a couple of months ago as part of the Yao Ming Foundation Charity Tour:

Aaron Brooks 9-27-10 interview by yaomingmania

Here’s an interview of coach Rick Adelman:

Rick Adelman 9-27-10 by yaomingmania

I recorded the final question to Adelman on video (below), which is really short. He was asked a question about the importance of the Rockets’ depth this coming season:

Yao’s first weekend of training camp successful

Monday, September 27th, 2010
by John

It was a good weekend of practice for Yao Ming as the Rockets started training camp. Yao looked good running the court…

September 25th, 2010 - Yao Ming does sprints in the first day of Rockets training camp

Click here for more photos of Yao at Saturday’s practice.

This Chronicle article does a good job revealing how excited Yao was through the following quotes:

“Words cannot express how happy I am. I can’t say if I was the first guy here (for the 1 p.m. practice), but I was here at 9 o’clock.

“I still had some limits on the scrimmage. I finished most of it. I’m very tired. For today, it’s fine. No foot pains, just conditioning. I’m still working on it. Actually, not bad today, better than I thought.”

Coach Rick Adelman was also impressed:

“I was really pleased with Yao. He was able to do a lot of things today. Now we’ll see how he responds tomorrow — if he can walk.

“For the first day, he probably did a lot more today than he did in a week. We’ll have to be real careful watching tomorrow.

“He went through all our drills defensively. He went through everything we did, except they limited his time scrimmaging.”

“He’s just such a force around the basket. He can score. The biggest thing is getting his balance and his timing down. The ball comes off the boards, for instance. He might be a count late to get it. He’s not reacting like he used to. And there’s some things he’s not comfortable doing. But when he gets his footwork down and he gets that jump hook, it’s automatic.
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“Right now, he can’t expect too much. I just like the way he went through it. You can see the presence he gives us on the court. His presence is huge”

Chuck Hayes also liked what he saw:

“I’m inspired, impressed. Just seeing him run and up and down the court, working hard, even when he’s tired, he is still getting after it, trying to compete.

“He’s the hardest-working guy I’ve ever played with or seen. He’s also the most stubborn. We need him.”

Then on Sunday, the Rockets held a light practice in front of Houston fans. There was one part where Luis Scola tried a 180-degree tomahawk jam that didn’t work out very well, and all of the players had a huge laugh.

September 26th, 2010 - Yao Ming, Brad Miller and other players have a big laugh at Rockets training camp Sunday afternoon

Click here for more photos from Sunday’s practice.

Rick Adelman is so pleased with Yao’s progress, it looks like he may want Yao to play longer in scrimmages. To accomplish that, Adelman may hold him out of practice every other day to give his foot enough rest to not overdo things (click here for the Houston Chronicle story). Yao is cool with trying different things.

Here’s a video the Chronicle put together on Yao’s first practice:

Photos of Yao, presser video from Rockets Media Day

Saturday, September 25th, 2010
by John

It was good to see Yao Ming back in a Rockets jersey yesterday at Rockets Media Day! It had been so long, it’s easy to forget what he looked like in a Rockets uniform.

September 24th, 2010 - Yao Ming answers questions at his press conference during Media Day at Toyota Center in Houston

You can check out all the photos of Yao and his teammates in the forum, thanks to Raymond.

Here’s also a link to his video interview in front of the Houston press. As usual, Yao was cracking them up.

After Media Day was over, Yao took some time to visit a child in the hospital who is recovering from open heart surgery. Click here to see a photo and read the story.