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

Yao dwarfs Manny in pic

August 8th, 2013
by John

If you think Yao’s photo with J.J. Watt a few months ago made J.J. look small, take a look at this one of Yao with boxers Manny Pacquiao (who stands 5′ 7″) and Brandon Rios.

July 30th, 2013 - Yao Ming stands with Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, boxers who were in China to promote their November fight in Macao
Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank

Pacquiao and Rios were in China last week to promote their upcoming November pay-per-view fight in Macau.

Video of Yao in Napa Valley at his winery

July 23rd, 2013
by John

This ABC news story appeared last week in the Bay Area after Yao visited his winery in Napa Valley. Check it out!

If the video player above doesn’t play the video, you can try viewing the video here.

Jeremy Lin plays soccer with Steve Nash

July 23rd, 2013
by John

Last week Jeremy Lin participated in the Steve Nash Foundation Charity Game (soccer), played July 14th in Los Angeles.

July 15th, 2013 - Jeremy Lin practices in front of Steve Nash at Nash's Foundation charity match

July 15th, 2013 - Jeremy Lin defends Steve Nash at Nash's Foundation charity match

Jeremy was among a group of NBA players (like Jared Dudley, Klay Thompson), soccer stars (Robbie Rogers, Robbie Keane), and NBA writers (Marc Stein) invited to play soccer to raise money for Nash’s foundation.

But according to Orange County Register reporter Kevin Ding, the Rockets didn’t approve of Lin playing in the soccer match because of the risk involved, so he played for only a few minutes (for both teams).

However, Lin showed that he had some soccer skills by getting an assist to Klay Thompson for an opening goal. Nash’s team ended up beating Rogers’ team 5-4 with Nash scoring the winning goal.

Click here for more pics from the event.

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

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).

Yao flies to Houston; will attend Dwight Howard press conference

July 11th, 2013
by John

Yao has planned for awhile to fly from Beijing to Houston on Air China’s inaugural non-stop flight between the two cities, only the 4th U.S. city that Air China now flies non-stop from Beijing, behind New York, L.A. and San Francisco. So it’s kind of a big deal.

Since Yao is a goodwill ambassador for Houston, it made sense for Air China to invite him to fly on their first flight to Houston from Beijing. So this trip has obviously been planned for quite some time. But it’s great timing since Yao will be able to attend Dwight Howard’s first press conference on Saturday welcoming him as a Houston Rocket. That should be a pretty cool press conference since we understand Hakeem Olajuwon will also be there. Nice touch by these Rocket legends to be there to welcome Dwight to Houston.

Below are some photos that Raymond posted in the forum of Yao at the ceremony at the Beijing airport before he departed on his flight to Houston.

July 11th, 2013 - Yao Ming signs a model Air China plane before departing on its inaugural flight from Beijing to Houston

July 11th, 2013 - Yao Ming poses with Air China personnel before departing on the airline's inaugural flight between Beijing and Houston

July 11th, 2013 - Yao Ming takes photos before departing on the airline's inaugural flight between Beijing and Houston

Click here for more photos from the Air China ceremony.

Pics from Yao’s charity game in Beijing and the events beforehand

July 3rd, 2013
by John

On Monday night in Beijing, Yao’s Foundation had another charity game (more details of who it benefits are here) where NBA players like Joakim Noah, Luis Scola, Metta World Peace, Kyle Lowry, Ricky Rubio and others played the Chinese National Team. Published reports like this one revealed that Yao called Noah and MWP personally, not an assistant, to invite them to play.

Below are some photos from the night. Here’s a video that recaps some of the game, and Slam Online‘s coverage of the game.

July 1st, 2013 - Yao Ming shoots some baskets before the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

Popular Brazilian soccer superstar Kaka of Real Madrid made an appearance and spoke to the crowd beforehand, and also talked with Yao. Since Kaka is a soccer ambassador for Brazil, he had flown to Beijing to promote an upcoming exhibition match between the Brazilian and Chinese national teams in September at the “Bird’s Nest.”

July 1st, 2013 - Brazilian soccer star says a few words to the crowd in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Brazilian soccer star Kaka talks to Yao at the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Joakim Noah throws down a dunk during the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Joakim Noah plays defense in the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - George Hill dribbles toward the basket in the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Metta World Peace puts up a shot with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady looking on

July 1st, 2013 - Luis Scola puts up a shot in the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Ricky Rubio dribbles in the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

Tracy McGrady happened to be touring in China and had just flown in from Changsha, so he was too tired to play, but he did act as the “assistant coach” of Yao’s team.

July 1st, 2013 - Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady watch the action as coaches in the Yao Foundation charity game in Beijing

July 1st, 2013 - Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady cheer on their team of young players in the 3rd quarter of the Yao Foundation charity game

Click here for more photos and details of the game, thanks to Raymond in the forum.

On Sunday night, the night before the game, Yao held a charity gala event sponsored by the Thaihot Group, a conglomerate in residential and commercial real estate development, chemicals, mining, finance and securities, and bio-medicine. The charity gala was held outdoor in Thaihot’s mega-project Courtyards by the Canal.

June 30th, 2013 - The setting of the Yao Foundation charity gala in Beijing

June 30th, 2013 - Yao Ming on stage at his Foundation's charity gala in Beijing

Click here for more photos of Yao and other NBA players at the charity gala.

Earlier in the day on Sunday, Yao and Joakim Noah visited a primary school for children of migrant workers in the Changping District in Beijing.

June 30th, 2012 - Yao Ming and Joakim Noah visit a  primary school for children of migrant workers at Changping District in Beijing

June 30th, 2012 - Joakim Noah meets children at a primary school for children of migrant workers at Changping District in Beijing

June 30th, 2012 - Joakim Noah puts up a shot at primary school for children of migrant workers at Changping District in Beijing

June 30th, 2012 - Yao Ming and Joakim Noah visit a  primary school for children of migrant workers at Changping District in Beijing

Yao and Joakim split themselves up into teams with the school children to see which team could make the most layups. Yao’s team lost, so Yao had to pay up on a bet and do push-ups.

June 30th, 2013 - Yao Ming does push-ups after his team loses a bet on which team could make the most layups.

Click here to see more photos of Yao and Joakim’s visit to the school, and here for a video of some of their visit.

Yao’s wife Ye Li and daughter Amy also visited the primary school with Yao and Joakim. Click here for lots more photos of Yao’s wife and daughter.

June 30th, 2013 - Yao Ming's wife Ye Li and baby daughter Amy visits a primary school with Yao Ming and Joakim Noah

Before the weekend’s events, the Yao Foundation had a drawing for all ticket buyers where the winner would get their tickets delivered personally by Yao Ming himself. That’s exactly what happened on Thursday, June 27th. Check out the photos of below of Yao delivering the tickets and visiting with the winner.

June 27th, 2013 - Yao Ming delivers the tickets to the winner of a ticket lottery for his Foundation's charity game a few days later

June 27th, 2013 - Yao Ming visits with the winners of a ticket lottery

Click here for more photos of Yao visiting the winner of the tickets in his home.

Yao Foundation to hold another charity game with NBA players next Monday in Beijing

June 24th, 2013
by John

The Yao Foundation will be holding another charity game this coming Monday, July 1st in Beijing at the Mastercard Centre, where the 2008 Beijing Olympic basketball games were played.

June 2013 - the poster for the Yao Foundation charity game to be played in Beijing 2013 July 1st, 2013

So far five NBA players have committed to playing in the game against the Chinese National Team as the Chinese prepare for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship to be played in Manila in early August. The NBA players who have committed to play on the “Yao Foundation” team are Joakim Noah, Metta World Peace, Kyle Lowry, George Hill, and Luis Scola.

You might remember that the Yao Foundation hosted two charity games 3 summers ago, one game played in Beijing and the other game in Taipei, which turned out to be very entertaining and successful in raising money to fund Yao Foundation charity initiatives.

The proceeds of this charity game will fund this year’s “Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season” project, as well as funding the travel and expenses of school children of the Hope Primary Schools in poverty-stricken areas (and the Ya’an earthquake stricken area) to participate in the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School basketball season.

Pics of Yao, wife and daughter at ice skating show

June 20th, 2013
by John

Late last week Yao attended the “Artistry on Ice” show in Shanghai, which featured some of the top figure skaters in the world. This was Yao’s third consecutive year to attend the show, and he came with his wife Ye Li, actor and friend Deng Chao, and his daughter Amy (pictured at the bottom right).

June 14th, 2013 - Yao Ming attends the Artistry on Ice show in Shanghai with his family

This was the first time that Amy had been seen in public with his parents since Yao’s retirement from the NBA two years ago. She is growing up fast!

After the show, Yao went backstage to meet some of the skaters, like Canada’s Kurt Browning, who was the World Champion from 1989-1991 and 1993.

June 14th, 2013 - Yao Ming with figure skater Kurt Browning

And checkout this photo of Yao with flamboyant American skater Johnny Weir.

June 14th, 2013 - Yao Ming with figure skater Johnny Weir

Click here for more photos of Yao with his family, Yao with some of the skaters, and scenes from the show.

Yao still a force, interviewed at Fortune Global Forum

June 9th, 2013
by John

Yao Ming was in esteemed company Saturday, June 8th, when he was interviewed on stage at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China. Here’s a transcript of the interview.

When asked who he thought would win the NBA Finals, Yao diplomatically skirted answering the question, but he did say he was a Spurs fan. This is probably due to him playing the Spurs so many times over his 8-year career — he can’t help but respect how they play the game.

June 8th, 2013 - Yao Ming is interviewed at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China

It just goes to show that even though Yao retired a few years ago, he still remains a global force as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and de facto ambassador for China.

As the Fortune web site describes, the Fortune Global Forum is the highest-level place for multinational CEOs—and the heads of China’s most important companies— to gain visibility into the emerging new trends, and meet the people that are shaping “China’s New Future.” It represents an unparalleled opportunity to build the key relationships and obtain insights that are vital to positioning multinational companies for long-term success, in China and on a global basis.

Here’s a list of all the speakers at the Global Forum. Pretty impressive names there.

Video: Yao’s conversation with Jay Williams last Friday

February 19th, 2013
by John

You might remember my post from a couple days ago where I posted some photos of Yao having a conversation with Jay Williams at the Asia Society of Texas located in Houston.

Well, the good folks at the Asia Society posted a video of almost the entire interview, which is very informational, as well as humorous! Click here to check it out, and consider joining the Asia Society — their mission is a very worthy one.