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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  Official Thread on Yao Ming's Summer Activities 2007

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 5:01 am
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am

I have been doing this for the past 4 years on YMM.

Originally I did not expect that I have to start this thread this soon. I plan to do it in June......

But sometime reality is cruel..............

So from today on, I will regularly post articles (most of them translated ones or from Houston Chronicles or other available sources)
updates of Yao Ming's 2007 summer activities, which unfortunately for this summer again, his summer will start with a recuperation/recovery from a surgery that he will take within the next few days on his troubled left toe.

Also following soon to this post, will be an exclusive interview of Yao Ming by Wang Meng on his feelings of the terrible Game 7 loss, and on some of his insights of what will happen in the post season.

Stay tune for it is a very very long article that might take me the next 2 hours for its translation.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 7:43 am
Posts: 102Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:43 pm
Looking forward to the summer of Yao articles! Thanks!

Let's hope Yao's offseason bring the winds of change to help Yao and the Rockets reach the next level.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 8:01 am
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
The exclusive interview of Yao Ming by Wang Meng on the night of the Game 7 loss, where Yao Ming talked about how the game was lost, took the full responsibility of the loss onto himself, talked about the deficiencies of his team, and some insights on what will happen in the off season........

A very long article.......Enjoy !!


Houston, in the last night of this entire season, together with the rest of the world seems to have fallen into a deep slumber.

On the last day of the 2006 ~ 07 season of the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming was driving his car, left the brightly illuminated Toyota Centre, and sped towards the direction of his home. This time, it was completely different when compared to the previous 3 times after wins at home (in this Utah Jazz playoff series); in the previous 3 times, it was full of laughters and small talks; the swirling highway and the Houston sky at night was filled with vitality; this time round, dead silence reigned; all the trees' leaves on the roadside seemed already went to sleep, and the whole Houston sky seemed to loom low.....Yao Ming wanted to talk, but he did not know who to talk to........

So when we started our interview, Yao Ming's car had left Houston downtown, as well as leaving behind a once ambitious 2006-07 season, which had abruptly and prematurely ended.

TITAN: Are you okay now? Can you endure (such a blow)?

Yao Ming: (Heaved a long gasp of breath) Am I okay? No, I'm not okay.....To finish (this season) like this ! To finish (this season) like this ! To finish (this season) like this !

TITAN: What was the first thing that came to mind that you wanted to say at the end of the game?

Yao Ming: We have wasted a full season....We have wasted a full season.....

TITAN: Are you still recollecting scenes of Game 7?

Yao Ming: I just hate myself. Those 3 defensive rebounds at the end of the game. I could not grab those 3 crucial defensive rebounds. If I could grab only one of them, everything could have been different. Those were rebounds that I should have grabbed.

TITAN: For players to lose such a game like today, it could possibly take a long time for them to get out of its shadow.

Yao Ming: I don't have that much long time. I know where I have lost this game. I will undergo a surgery in next week. My left toe had been stepped on badly again. This time, it will be a more thorough surgery to clean it up such that the nail won't grow back again. 3 weeks from now, I will be allowed to start my rehabilitation training, and I will immediately start my rehabilitation training. I will need to recover my lost speed during this summer. Since I came back from the previous injury, my speed was never like what I had in the beginning of this season. You should all realize that in today's competition, speed determines everything. Without speed, you ain't got nothing. This is my top priority item to attain for this summer.

TITAN: What is the difference between this Game 7 with that Game 7 loss to Dallas Mavericks 2 years ago?

Yao Ming: Two years ago, we died a happy death, as very early into the game, we knew already we were no match for the Mavericks. So it was game over very soon. This time round, it is on our home court; we fought to the very end, but we were tortured to death.

TITAN: How is your right knee ?

Yao Ming: Luckily it was hit by the small point guard (Deron Williams); I was hit on exactly the same position as my previous injury. If I was hit by someone else, like Chuck Hayes, then I think it will break again.

TITAN: Why did you played that poor in the first half?

Yao Ming: Because I was under very high pressure. I did not sleep well last night; I woke up several times and fell back again to sleep throughout the night. My eyes were all red when I woke up this morning. After the team practice in the morning, I could not sleep well again in my afternoon nap. Therefore I could not find my rhythm and shooting touch for the first half. During the half time break, I just sat there on the bench and closed my eyes for a nap, with my mind thinking on what changes I need to adjust for second half. At the start of the second half, I saw Hakeem Olajuwon sitting at the courtside. I felt excited and motivated when I saw him, and that was why I scored 21 points in the second half.

TITAN: Where was the turning point for this game ?

Yao Ming: (I think) We were leading by 5 points (88 vs 83) when I was forced to rest, receiving my 5th personal foul. When I came back on court, we were behind by 3 points. Nobody would have thought Andrei Kirilenko could hit that 3 pointer to tie the game (88 vs 88 ). Throughout this series, in the past 6 game, Andrei Kirilenko did not manage to hit any 3-pointer.

TITAN: How do you weigh your function/contribution, if purely based on this Game 7?

Yao Ming: When I was playing poorly, it was Tracy McGrady that shouldered and persisted with the team. After I readjusted my conditions, I led the comeback of this team in the second half.....but I failed to grab those last 3 defensive rebounds....I let this game slip out of my own hands.

TITAN: You have become the target of Utah Jazz's offense throughout this series, and you have never managed to resolve it.

Yao Ming: Well the game plan/set plays of Utah Jazz seemed to have owned us. I am not shrinking from my responsibility. You must listen carefully: I am not going to shrink from my responsibility. In this team, the player that played the longest minutes, that scored the highest points, and had the highest turnovers, should be the one to take the blame for the loss. I knew where my responsibility is. I don't need other excuses. That is exactly why I need to recover my speed.

But if you just talk about defense, any other centre will find it difficult to fit into our team. In Utah Jazz, every of their players in any position can play in offense; specifically every of their exterior player can play in low post, and their interior player can pull out to the exterior/perimeter. The most obvious one was Carlos Boozer. When I guarded him (under the low post), he would pull out to shoot; when we switched another player to guard him, he would then cut it back into the paint/low post to attack. And Andrei Krilenko, Matt Harping, Gordan Giricek, they all can attack in the paint/low post. But for us, we have only Tracy and Shane that can switch from the exterior into the interior on defense. I need to play at my best capability guarding Carlos Boozer, and moreover, I had to move over on help defense to mend our loopholes in defense.

TITAN: I heard that old Del Harris called you before this game.

Yao Ming: Right. He told me that the Golden States Warriors just left and ignored their centre, and just sent 2 players dedicated on swarming and chasing Dirk Nowitzki all over the court. I told him that for Utah Jazz, they did exactly the same thing; they just ignored Chuck Hayes, and played rough and tough on me.

TITAN: If you looked back on this whole playoff series, where do you think the Rockets lost this series ?

Yao Ming: We lost on our offense. Our offense was too uni-dimensional. In most of our offense, our team relied on me or Tracy to play one-on-one and to attract double-team before we pass the ball. But in fact, we frequently could not connect with other team mates; this was particularly true when we dropped in our physical strength and efficiency. Carlos Boozer was the highest scorer on Utah Jazz. But he was actually not their focal point of offense. He is used as a decoy, always received passes in the elbow position, with his team mates cutting into the paint to seek scoring opportunities. At such time, I just could not be able to attend to one thing without losing track of another thing in the defense, (and therefore lost my target). We just did not have integrity in offense like the Utah Jazz.

TITAN: Compared with Utah Jazz, what has gone wrong with your bench?

Yao Ming: At the beginning of the season, everybody said we have a deep bench. But the further we played into the season, our bench had become thinner and thinner. Vassalis Spanoulis and Steve Novak were not given chance to play because they were rookies. Bonzi Wells was abandoned and I am certainly not at all surprised, because he and the head coach were having personality clashes. But later in the series, Kirk Snyder was also dropped, and this I just could not comprehend. Each NBA team needs to have an energy player, who just plays with energy and hustle once sent on court. We need such an energy player, playing against Utah Jazz. Moreover, (I think) this also conforms to the style of our head coach. Kirk Snyder is also very familiar with the (play style of) Utah Jazz. I just could not understand why he (Jeff Van Gundy) did not use Snyder. In this playoff series, if we have an energy player like Mike James, we definitely will have won the series. Well, in lieu of Mike James, if Kirk Snyder had played, we might have come up with better results.

TITAN: These 2 things that you mentioned above are directly related to Jeff Van Gundy. Failing to get out of Round 1, Jeff Van Gundy will definitely have to leave.

Yao Ming: This I knew too. But not touching on other things, for all these years, if not for Jeff's stern and harsh supervision, I would not have become what I am now. I know what big role he had been to me. I also beleive, even if he is to leave Houston, he will be able to find a new job elsewhere; or at most, he will take one year off to rest.

TITAN: If Jeff Van Gundy is to leave, what is the most immediate issue facing you?

Yao Ming: Well, I may end up with no one coaching me in my techniques this summer. Tom Thibodeau aspires to become a head coach. He may take up a new position, or he will leave together with Jeff Van Gundy, and could not work with me again. He had been playing a major role and was of great help and contribution on my offense skills over these years, and in particular, my left hand. But he (Tom Thibodeau) is the most important and key person in Jeff Van Gundy's coaching staff team.

TITAN: How then do you manage?

Yao Ming: I can ask CD (Carroll Dawson) to help me in my practice. During Jeff's tenure, he did not allow CD to help me on my practice. Now if he is out, then maybe CD will be allowed to help me on my practice. But the question of CD is that he is too old. Bill Duffy (Yao Ming's US agent/manager) had introduced me to another coach. That big white guy of Portland Trailblazers (Joel Przybilla) was coached by this coach. He will be mainly responsible to train me in defense and rebounding. Like this, he and CD will supplement each and other.

TITAN: From the perspective of the entire season.......

Yao Ming: I have never ever thought of such ending; so let's stop.....the season has finished.

TITAN: So you have arrived home ?

Yao Ming: Right. I must now return to my bedroom, and take a good rest on my own bed. Definitely I will sleep more steadfastly than yesterday. Tomorrow when I wake up in the morning, it is highly possible that I am still asking myself: "Is Game 7 really over ?"

So in only 20 minutes, Yao Ming had arrived home....his new home. He is no longer living in Windsor Lake & Park, which normally would take an hour's drive from Toyota Centre. Yao Ming's new home is closer to the downtown, and is much larger than the old one.

A bigger advantage (for his new home) is that it is much faster now for Yao Ming to get away form the centre of the dreadful storm (of the Houston Rockets failing to advance into Round 2), to take asylum in his new home.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 9:52 am
Posts: 10073Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:10 pm
nice work pryuen

well at least yao knows what's up

1) those lost defensive boards cost them the season

2) he needs to get his speed back

yao says there's no one! to coach him?? that's bad news he has a lot of ****** to work on this summer

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:45 am
Posts: 667Location: NYCJoined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:25 pm
thanks for the translation. wang meng is a brave man to interview yao right after the game. i know they are boys and all but i could definitely see yao snapping and punching wang meng in the face for prying too much.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:55 pm
User avatarPosts: 3614Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:48 pm
Sure the last 3 rebounds were crucial. But he has to realize other rebounds were just as important as the last 3. If they had played well through out the game, they might not have to come down to the last 3 rebounds. All in all, the Rockets had themselves to blame, because no one will pity them in the end. It's not the end of world when you fall, but the important thing is how you're going to respond after the fall. Hopefully, Yao will get up strong and keep on marching...

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 3:18 pm
Posts: 385Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:32 pm
Thank you so much for the very detailed article/interview. Yao could not blame only himself for the loss, or only on game 7. The whole team could have played better towards the end of game 6. The way game 6 slipped away was devastating.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 3:27 pm
User avatarPosts: 10633Location: PhillyJoined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:03 am
I hope Yao use these mistakes this year to make up for it next year.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:22 pm
Posts: 234Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 11:57 pm
Pruyen you are THE MAN!!! Thanks for all your work on this board! I think its great that Yao understands whats going on , but even though he didn't get those last three rebounds, his teammates didn't either and should have stepped up. I think the most interesting part was when he was talking about how JVG made the mistake of having a small rotation of players , when they could have had more players off the bench that could have brought in more energy especially for the Jazz. I hope Yao can find a good coach for this summer and he'll be back better than ever next year with more hunger :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:54 pm
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am

A couple of interviews/articles coming up.....taken by Chinese reporters at the Postseason Meeting held May 7.

But since I'll need to travel back to Hong Kong after my holidays here in China, you guys have to wait for another 8 to 10 hours or so.
Stay Tune.....

Meanwhile, got these photos at the Postseason Meeting.













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