Yao Ming

Yao Ming
姚?
PositionCenter
NicknameThe Ming Dynasty, The Great Wall of Yao, Chairman Yao
LeagueNBA
Height ft  in ( m)
Weight lb ( kg)
TeamHouston Rockets
NationalityChina
BornSeptember 12 1980 (1980--) (age 0)
Shanghai, China
Draft1 st overall, 2002
Houston Rockets
Pro career1997–present
Former teamsShanghai Sharks (1997-2002)
Awards5-time NBA All-Star
3-time All-NBA Selection
2002-03 NBA All-Rookie First Team


This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yao (姚).


Yao Ming (Chinese: 姚明; Pinyin: Yáo Míng) (born September 12 1980, in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese professional basketball player and is considered one of the best centers in the National Basketball Association (NBA) today. He is also among the tallest of players in the NBA standing at a height of 7'6" (2.29 m). He played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) for five years, and now plays center for the Houston Rockets in the NBA. He was selected by Houston as the 1st overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft and signed with them on October 21, 2002.

Career in Mainland China

Early life and pre-CBA career

Yao was born to his 6’7” (2.01 meter) tall father Yao Zhiyuan, and his 6'2" (1.88 m) mother Fang Fengdi, who was the captain of the women’s national team that won the first Asian Championship in 1976.[1] He was born with the weight of 11 pounds, twice the average size in China, and was 5’5” by age ten,[1] and 6’6” (2 meters) by the time he was thirteen.[2] He developed a sickness at age seven that resulted in his losing his hearing in his left ear.[1]

He first started playing basketball when he was age nine,[1] and he went to the junior sports school at the same age.[1] When he was examined at age ten he was predicted to grow to the height of 7’3”.[1] The Sharks invited him to try out for their junior team when he was thirteen, where he had to practice for 10 hours a day to make the team.[1] He first dunked at age fifteen,[1] and he made the senior team of the Sharks when he was seventeen.[1]

Yao Ming first went overseas to go to a 1997 Nike camp in Paris, and then went to America the next year to play on an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team called High Five.[1]

Career with the Sharks

Yao was prevented from going to the senior Sharks team because he broke his foot while on the junior team. When he joined the team a year later, he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds a game in his rookie season. The next year, he broke his foot again, which Yao says decreased his jumping ability by 4 to 6 inches.[3]

The Sharks made the finals of the CBA in Yao Ming’s third season and again the next year, but lost both times to the Bayi Rockets. When Wang Zhizhi left for the NBA the following year, the Sharks finally won their first championship. During the playoffs in his final year, Yao Ming averaged 38.9 points and 20.2 rebounds a game, while shooting 76.6% from the field,[4] and made all 21 of his shots during one game in the finals.[5]

Yao Ming was initially pressured to enter the NBA draft in 1999 by Li Yaomin, the deputy general manager of the Shanghai Sharks.[6] Li also pressured Yao into signing a contract with Evergreen Sports Inc., which stated that Yao would have to give Evergreen 33% of his earnings.[6] However, Yao quickly terminated the contract after it was determined invalid.[1] Despite the pressure of entering the draft, becoming an NBA player had always been Yao's dream.[7] When Yao Ming decided to enter the 2002 NBA draft, a team of advisors was formed that was collectively dubbed “Team Yao”.[1] The team consisted of Yao’s negotiator, Erik Zhang, his NBA agent, , his Chinese agent, Lu Hao, a professor at the University of Chicago, John Huizinga, and Bill Sanders, the vice president for marketing at BDA Sports Management, the company that Duffy started.[8] After Yao's intentions were announced, scouting reports began raving about his shot-blocking, passing, and agility. Some even said that his upside was so tremendous that being selected first overall was virtually guaranteed.[7] Another draft profile called him "the best and most dominant player in China."[9] However, some teams were concerned about Yao's NBA eligibility due to uncertainty over whether the Chinese Basketball Association would let Yao play in the United States, or keep him for lesser-known tournaments in China.[10] One week prior to the draft, the Shanghai Sharks, Yao's former team, worked out a deal with the NBA, stating that they would let Yao play in the U.S. as long as he was drafted by a team that could contend in 2-3 years.[11] On draft night, the Rockets picked Yao, who became the first player without any American basketball experience to be selected first overall.[12]

NBA career

2002-03 season

Yao Ming’s first meeting with Shaquille O'Neal garnered large media attention over the fact that O’Neal had previously said "Tell Yao Ming, ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh", which many considered racist.[13][14] In the game, Yao Ming scored six points and blocked O’Neal twice in the opening minutes, as well as having the game-winning dunk with 10 seconds left in overtime.[15] Yao finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds; O’Neal scored 31 points and 13 rebounds. Yao finished his rookie season averaging 13.5ppg and 8.2rpg.[16]

Yao Ming ended the season by being voted the Sporting News Rookie of the Year and being a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. [17] Yao lost the NBA Rookie of the Year Award to Amare Stoudemire, Yao came in second.

2003-04 season

Before the start of Yao's sophomore season, the Rockets' head coach Rudy Tomjanovich had resigned due to health issues,[18] and long time New York Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy was brought in. After Van Gundy focused the offense on Yao, [19] averaged career highs in points and rebounds a game, and had a career-high 41 points and 7 assists in a triple-overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks in February 2004.[20] He was also voted to be the starting center in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game for the second straight year. He played in the playoffs for the first time, as the Rockets claimed the seventh seed in the Western Conference. However, eventual NBA finalists Lakers eliminated Houston in the first round, as the Rockets only won one game.

2004-05 season

Before the start of Yao Ming’s third season, the Rockets acquired Tracy McGrady in a seven-player trade, which also sent Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley to Orlando.[21] He was once again voted as the starting center for the Western Conference in the 2005 NBA All-Star Game, after shattering the record for most All-Star votes with 2,558,278, breaking Michael Jordan's previous record.[22] The Rockets made the playoffs for the second consecutive year, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks in seven games.

In 2005, Yao became the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, which focuses on his NBA rookie year and his first year living in the United States, his parents and his interpreter Colin Pine.[23]

2005-06 season

Yao had missed only two games in three years up till 2005,[24] but twenty-two games into his fourth season Yao was forced onto the inactive list for an extended period for the first time in his career due to an acute case of osteomyelitis in the big toe on his left foot.[25] On December 18, 2005, with the rest of the team staying in Los Angeles to play the Lakers, Yao returned to Houston to have surgery performed on the toe.[26] He was placed on the inactive list and missed a total of 21 games, returning to the lineup on January 30 against the Memphis Grizzlies.[17]

In the 25 games after the All-Star break, Yao averaged 25.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.7% from the field and 87.8% at the free throw line. His final averages in 57 games were 22.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. This was the first time that Yao had ended the season with a "20/10" average.

However, before the season ended, he suffered another major injury in a game against the Utah Jazz on April 10, 2006 - an accidental collision with opposing center Mehmet Okur left him with a broken bone in his left foot. The injury required a full 6 months of rest.[27]

In the 2006 NBA All-Star game balloting, Yao again led all NBA players with 2,342,738 votes, and therefore started for the fourth straight time of his career.[27]

2006-07 season

On December 23, Yao fractured his right tibia. At that point he was leading the team with 26.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.[28] Before his injury, he had been mentioned as an MVP candidate.[29]Yao missed the All-Star game due to his injury.[30]He was medically cleared to play on March 4.[31]

The Rockets made the playoffs for the first time since 2005, playing with home court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round. However, although Yao averaged 25.1 points, after winning the first two games, the Rockets lost four of five games, and were eliminated in Game 7 at home. After the series, Yao said “I didn't do my job”. During the offseason Yao has worked with Hakeem Olajuwon[32]

After being selected to the All-NBA third team twice, Yao was selected to the All-NBA second team for the first time in his career.[33]

International career

2004 Olympics

During the 2004 Athens Olympics, Yao carried the Chinese flag during the opening ceremony, which he said was a “long dream come true”.[34] He then vowed to abstain from shaving his beard for half a year unless the Chinese national basketball team made it into the quarter-finals.[35] After Yao Ming scored 39 points in a win against New Zealand, China lost 58–83, 57–82, and 52–89 against Spain, Argentina and Italy respectively. But in the final group game, a 67–66 win over reigning world champions Serbia and Montenegro moved them into the quarterfinals. Yao scored 27 points and had 13 rebounds, and hit two free throws with 28 seconds left that proved to be the winning margin.[36] He was selected to the All-Olympics team with his performance, averaging 20.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55.9% from the field).[37]

2006 World Championships

Yao’s injury at the end of the 2005-06 NBA season required a full six months of rest, which left some in doubt as to whether Yao would play in the 2006 FIBA World Championship.[38] However, he recovered before the start of the tournament, and he carried the Chinese national team to the knockout stage of the World Championships, but was then defeated by Greece in the first knockout round.

Yao Ming averaged 25.3 points, the most in the tournaments, and nine rebounds a game, which was fourth overall.[39]

Off the court

Yao Ming is married to Ye Li, a Chinese women's basketball player, whom he met when he was seventeen.[1] Ye first rejected Yao, but finally accepted him after he gave her team pins from the 2000 Olympics.[1] The Chinese media reported on June 25, 2007 that Yao Ming would marry Ye Li in August in a private ceremony in Shanghai. [40]The wedding was set on August 5, laying to rest weeks of media speculation about the national hero's wedding date. Yao settled on an exclusive guest list that did not include any Chinese basketball officials, teammates or coaches.[41] Yao married Ye on August 6, 2007.[42]

Yao has participated in several charity events during his career. During the NBA's offseason in 2003, Yao hosted a telethon, which raised $300,000 to help stop the spread of SARS.[43] In 2006, Yao Ming promised never to eat shark fin soup again, in order to raise awareness of wildlife protection.[44] He has also participated in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program.[45] On September 14 2007, he competed in a charity basketball match to raise money for a Chinese children's charity. He was joined by fellow basketball player Steve Nash and the two led opposite teams. Hong Kong born movie star, Jackie Chan also appeared to start of the game. The game was won by Yao's team, 101-92.[46]

Yao Ming has several sponsorship deals, including The 2008 Beijing Olympics, McDonald’s,[47] Pepsi,[48] Visa,[49] Apple,[50] Reebok,[51]and Garmin.[52]

Career statistics

CBA statistics

Regular season Team GP RPG APG FG% FT% PPG
1997-98Shanghai218.31.3.615.48510.0
1998-99Shanghai1212.91.7.585.69920.9
1999-00Shanghai3314.51.7.585.68321.2
2000-01Shanghai2219.42.2.679.79927.1
2001-02Shanghai2419.01.9.721.75932.4
Career totals12215.41.8.651.72323.4

NBA statistics

Regular season Team GP MPG SPG BPG RPG APG FG% FT% PPG
2002-03Houston8229.00.41.88.21.7.498.81113.5
2003-04Houston8232.80.31.99.01.5.522.80917.5
2004-05Houston8030.60.42.08.40.8.552.78318.3
2005-06Houston5734.20.51.610.21.5.519.85322.3
2006-07Houston4833.80.42.09.42.0.516.86225.0
Career totals34931.80.41.88.91.4.523.82218.5


Playoffs Team GP MPG SPG BPG RPG APG FG% FT% PPG
2004Houston537.00.41.47.41.8.456.76515.0
2005Houston731.40.32.77.70.7.655.72721.4
2007Houston737.10.10.710.30.9.440.88025.1
Career totals1935.00.31.68.61.1.509.81021.1

References

1. ^ Bucher, Ric (2004). Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. Miramax Books, p. 17. 
2. ^ November 7, 2005">Larmer, Brook (November 7, 2005)}}, <[1]
3. ^ Yao Ming - Biography. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
4. ^ NBADraft.net – Yao Ming Profile. Retrieved on 2007-05-06.
5. ^ Beech, Hannah. "China’s Incredible Hulk of the hardcourt becomes an NBA sensation". Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
6. ^ November 7, 2005">Larmer, Brook (November 7, 2005)}}, <[2]
7. ^ [3]
8. ^ Introducing Team Yao. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
9. ^ Player Profile: Yao Ming. NBA.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
10. ^ Katz, Andy (June 25, 2002.). 2002 NBA Draft: ESPN's Takes. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
11. ^ [4]
12. ^ Lago, Joel (June 27, 2002.). 2002 NBA Draft: Draft record set With 17 foreign-born picks. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
13. ^ Guillermo, Emil. "Golden Stuff Tarnished by Tolbert Race Apology". Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
14. ^ Tang, Irwin. "APA Community Should Tell Shaquille O’Neal to ‘Come Down to Chinatown’". Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
15. ^ Francis Towers Over Shaq-Yao Clash. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
16. ^ Yao Ming Career Stats Page,
17. ^ NBA.com: Yao Ming Info Page. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
18. ^ "Team says resignation just one of several options", February 2, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
19. ^ "Yao takes center stage in Houston's new stadium", November 1, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
20. ^ "Yao leads Rockets to outclass Hawks in triple overtime", February 24, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
21. ^ Denton, John. "McGrady-Francis swap official, finally", June 29, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
22. ^ "Yao Ming gets record votes for All-Star game", February 4, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
23. ^ Lewis Beale. The Year of the Yao. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
24. ^ NBA.com: Yao Ming Info Page. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
25. ^ "Yao Ming has surgery on toe, out several weeks", December 20, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
26. ^ "Yao Ming has surgery on toe, out several weeks", December 20, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
27. ^ "Yao Ming has operation on broken foot", April 15, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
28. ^ "Yao to miss six weeks of NBA season", December 24, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
29. ^ Legler, Tim. "In value, Nash looking peerless", January 17, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
30. ^ Yao on road to recovery, but will miss NBA All-Star Game, accessed July 30, 2007.
31. ^ "Yao returns from broken leg against Cavs", March 5, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
32. ^ Murphy, Michael. "Yao: Blame me for 1st-round flameout", May 6, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
33. ^ Pierce, Damien. "McGrady, Yao selected to All-NBA second team", May 10, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-11. 
34. ^ "Yao Ming realizes his Olympic dream", August 13, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
35. ^ "Yao bets his beard on China's top eight finish", August 12, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
36. ^ "Yao lifts China into Olympic quarter-finals", August 24, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
37. ^ NBA.com: Statistics: NBA Players on International Teams. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
38. ^ "China sweats over Yao Ming's foot", April 13, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
39. ^ 2006 FIBA World Championship. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
40. ^ [5]
41. ^ Brisbanetimes, Yao Ming nuptials set for August 5
42. ^ Yao Ming to wed longtime girlfriend in Shanghai
43. ^ Bodeen, Christopher. "NBA Star Yao Ming Host SARS telethon", May 12, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
44. ^ Wong, Gillian. "Yao Ming swears off shark's fin soup", August 2, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
45. ^ [www.nba.com/bwb/asia2005_report.html Basketball without Borders — Asia]
46. ^ Berger, Brian. "Yao Ming and Steve Nash Charity Game", September 14, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
47. ^ "McDonald's signs sponsorship deal with Yao Ming", February 14, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
48. ^ "Yao Ming Spurns Coke; Broadens Pepsi Deal", May 21, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
49. ^ "A Brand Called Yao", February 10, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
50. ^ "Yao Ming stars in Apple commercial", February 17, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
51. ^ "Reebok Partners With Yao Ming", October 23, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 
52. ^ "Garmin Nets Partnership with NBA Superstar Yao Ming", April 12, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. 

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