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<  Jeremy Lin  ~  Yao Ming: Jeremy Lin May Change Face of Chinese Basketball

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:16 am
User avatarPosts: 50438Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
Yao Ming received 2 interviews from CNN and Reuters in Shanghai yesterday, and spoke HIGHLY of Jeremy Lin.

He said Jeremy Lin may change the face of Chinese basketball, i.e. China's state sports system rethink how it selects and grooms its basketballers, and that if he can be a player again, he would like to play with players like Jeremy Lin.

He said he is now a BIG fan of Jeremy Lin.

Here is the Reuters interview first.




Quote:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/ ... AU20120223

Lin may change face
of Chinese basketball: Yao


By Royston Chan

SHANGHAI
Thu Feb 23, 2012


SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese basketball icon Yao Ming has been taken aback by Jeremy Lin's rise at the New York Knicks and thinks his style and size could make China's state sports system rethink how it selects and grooms its athletes.

Yao, who opened up the world's most populous country to the NBA, retired from the game last year. In 2002, the seven foot, six inch (2.30m) former Houston Rockets center was the first international player to be top pick in the NBA draft and was an eight-times All Star.

Taiwanese-American Lin has taken the NBA by storm with a series of dynamic displays at point guard for the Knicks. His fast-paced, high-scoring, playmaking performances could hardly be more different from the towering Yao's plodding, robust style.

Shanghai-native Yao said Lin, who stands 1.91m, could change the way China selects and trains its basketball players.

"This is something else that Jeremy Lin has brought to us. It has given us something to reflect on, whether there are imperfections over the development and selection process for our basketball players over the past 10 or 20 years," he told Reuters in an interview.


The soft-spoken 23-year-old from Harvard went undrafted and was cut by Golden State and Houston before finding a place at the end of the Knicks bench in December.

Given his chance, Lin seized the NBA spotlight with both hands, and has inspired the Knicks with a string of stunning performances.

Yao said he had known Lin was a good player but was stunned that he was able to reproduce the sensational form night after night.

"I am very surprised but also very happy. When he played well in his first game I thought this was a great start and perhaps he would soon have more stable game time.

"But I never thought he would perform up to such levels as he had today."


ROLE MODEL

Lin has said he communicates often with Yao, who he regards as a role model. Yao said he did not have much advice to give because of their different backgrounds but had always encouraged and cheered him on.

"First, New York and Houston are different. Also, the cultures of the two basketball teams are different, the cities are different, the team mates he faces are different, so I don't wish to tell him too much.

"If I do so, perhaps I will give him too much pressure."


Since retiring last year due to a succession of foot and ankle injuries, Yao has embarked on a new journey in life.

In addition to taking on the role of a Chinese basketball team owner, Yao has become involved in animal conservation projects, launched his own wine label and has returned to his studies at university.

Despite the numerous projects, Yao feels like life has become more of a marathon than a sprint.

"Perhaps in the past it felt like I was doing the 100m sprint, but now I feel I am more of a long distance runner," he said.

"For the 100m, you need to just spend a short time doing the sprint, and for the rest of time you can choose to walk, jog or even lay on the ground and not move.

"For now, my working hours are getting stretched everyday, but in terms of individual units, you don't have to be moving as fast as sprinting."


Yao was China's flag-bearer at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and said he had promised to do some commentary work for the basketball competition at the London Games.
China reached the quarter-finals in 2008 and while they had to undergo a tricky transition period, the national basketball team is adjusting to life without the retired Yao.

China regained the Asian Championship title in Wuhan last September and qualified for London, and Yao said the team should grasp their opportunity to shine at the 2012 Games.

"Being in the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No many people can have the chance to participate in the Olympics three or four times," he added.

"So once you are in the Olympics, you have to try your best and try to fulfill the team's biggest potential to get the best results."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am
User avatarPosts: 50438Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
Here is the CNN interview done last night in Shanghai.

Quote:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/22/sport ... index.html

Yao Ming: 'Everyone wants
to be next Jeremy Lin'


By Steven Jiang, CNN
February 23, 2012


Shanghai (CNN) -- When Yao Ming retired from professional basketball seven months ago, there were fears that interest in the NBA among China's 1.3 billion people would dwindle.

But now the former Houston Rockets center -- one of the most successful overseas players in the league's history -- could be forgiven for feeling like yesterday's star in China thanks to Jeremy Lin, the American-born New York Knicks point guard with roots in mainland China and Taiwan.

"We have a lot of talented young athletes here who are passionate about basketball," Yao told CNN in an interview Wednesday. "They all want be the next Jeremy.

"I think they can relate more to Jeremy because they're more common-sized."


For Yao, 31, who stands at seven feet six inches (2.29 meters) tall and remains a towering presence off court, Lin's natural talent more than makes up for his below average six-foot-three-inch (1.91 meters) frame in the league.

"The easy part is to find a strong basketball player -- I have the size; Shaquille O'Neal: big and strong; Kobe, LeBron, all those names," he said. "Jeremy has basketball IQ -- you can't program that.

"He's the kind of player I'd like to play with if I'm still a player -- he's a team player and everybody likes the way he wins a game," he added. "Honestly, he did much more than I'd expected."

Lin, 23, only recently a little known back-up player sitting on the Knicks bench, has been leading his team to a wave of recent victories without their established stars -- pulling off an average of 20 points and eight assists in six successive games.

Halfway across the globe, Lin's fan base on Sina Weibo, China's top micro-blogging site, has already hit the two million mark, four times the number of his followers on Twitter.

Inside the Yuanshen stadium Wednesday night, in between cheering Yao-owned Shanghai Sharks at a tight playoff game, local basketball enthusiasts gave a huge thumbs up to a player far from their court.

"Jeremy Lin is great," one man gushed. "He plays so good -- lots of Chinese love him."

Another added: "He was born in America, but his blood is Chinese."


Echoing this fan, Chinese media -- to the chagrin of its Taiwanese counterpart -- has been quick to claim Lin, whose parents emigrated from Taiwan but have family roots in mainland China.

The two sides split after a Chinese civil war in the 1940s, but the Beijing government regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland.

Ever the sports diplomat, Yao has a simple answer to solve the contentious issue of Lin's identity: "He's a great basketball player."

Politics aside, comparisons between the two seem inevitable.

Shanghai native Yao grew up in China's state-sponsored sports system and, amid much fanfare, was signed by the Rockets in 2002 as the NBA's top overall pick. Paid $93 million by the league during his nine-year career, Yao scored an average of 19 points per game and was voted an All-Star player eight times.

Lin, born and bred in California, was overlooked by most NBA teams before the Knicks picked him. Even with his new-found stardom, the Harvard graduate earns much less than many of his teammates.

Despite their different paths to professional basketball, the two bonded through similar cultural experiences after meeting at an event for Yao's charity two years ago.

"He gives a lot of hope to kids with the same background like his: Asian-Americans, second generation or maybe third," Yao said of Lin's recent achievements.

"They can follow his footprints and have more confidence in playing basketball."


While both have been called trailblazers, some argue it would be difficult for anyone to fill the void left by Yao, whose popularity helped the NBA franchise make huge inroads in the world's most populous nation.

"I don't think anybody in the NBA, from the Chinese perspective, will ever become a bigger star than Yao," NBA commissioner David Stern told China Daily, the country's official English-language newspaper, early this month.

"Yao was the first, the biggest and the most successful -- and he will always have a special place in the heart of NBA and Chinese fans."

"(Lin's success) was wonderful for our league... but I don't want to overburden him with expectations," he added.

"We have to see how he does in the next 300 games before we make any judgments."


Yao, however, appears to have made up his mind about Lin. The two talk on the phone or exchange messages after the younger player's games.

"I know people talk about me giving him tips -- it's really not that," Yao said with a laugh. "I just congratulated him and said I'm happy for him."

"I told him we'll support him and I'm a big fan of his."




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:29 am
Posts: 11813Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:31 pm
Yao Ming should attend some NBA games. His appearance is good for the NBA.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:49 am
Posts: 10073Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:10 pm
Those articles leave out probably the most important thing that Yao has told Lin, according to Lin himself: it's going to get a lot harder.

The one thing that I've always given Yao credit for, and that Lin will never have is the fact that Yao was the first Chinese player to have an impact on the NBA. Yao and Lin may not have comparable skillsets but Lin has something that Yao never had: a legitimate resource who understands what he's going through playing in a black league and the enormous unrealistic pressure that comes with being a racial standard bearer.

The media and haters are going off but on the court Lin is just another player, it's not a foreign idea to see a Chinese play basketball. There's a nuance of different being a point guard but the racial questions like, is he strong enough, does he have enough heart, is he aggressive enough... all the actual racial ****** that Yao actually had to go through Lin doesn't have to break through.

Bottom line is that Lin went through a lot but he's never going to feel alone. Something that Yao shouldered for 5-6 years.


Yao made an (obviously) manifest statement about "Jeremy has basketball IQ" that is true but other intangibles are

1) competitive spirit
2) clutch disposition

and most importantly

3) unflappable disposition

the last one I think is at least partially a creation of circumstance. if you listen to Lin's interviews he keeps talking about how he kept playing tight when he first got to the NBA. he just didn't want to make mistakes and like some O. Henry irony that's probably why he kept blowing layups and getting trapped in the air... some of his biggest criticisms last year.

of course to be fair the MASSIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL ONUS of knowing that RACISM might mean you never get enough time on the court to have a fair shot (excluding 3-4 minutes here and there in garbage time with no realistic chance to make an impact) would grind down on 99% of people.

but you can see how playing tight affects a game... look at Melo the last couple of games. he's not playing his game he's trying to show how he is unselfish, passing up shots and forcing passes.

this year Lin has said he's playing completely for himself. he goes out there and doesn't give a ****** if he's going to be cut after the game. he goes out and plays his game his way completely loose and the result has been fearless penetration, a lot of turnovers and a lot of wins.

are Chinese players in the Olympics or major tournaments playing loose? is Yi playing loose.

the other stuff

- identifying bball IQ
- developing bball IQ

etc are going to take major upheavals in the Chinese system. they might never be able to do it

but getting their players to play loose and with confidence? that's something the Chinese definitely could do. the central aspect of Lin's game is risk taking. would he be able to play the same under the Chinese? hell under many NBA coaches he wouldn't have been able to play like that... including Houston coaches JVG and Kevin McHale. if the CNT wants to change the culture and mentality that's where to start... you guys would know the specifics better but that includes mixing up the rotation, allowing their players, especially the guards to make mistakes, allow different players to step up and show they are clutch etc etc


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