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Chron: Yao now? No, but don't sweat the wait

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by ron413, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. ron413

    ron413 Contributing Member

    May 29, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Oct. 9, 2002, 10:40PM

    Yao now? No, but don't sweat the wait
    Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
    They arrive regularly and with mind-numbing sameness, these so-called news flashes on Yao Ming.

    In terms of plowing fertile ground, one can only go back to the old days of Saturday Night Live and Chevy Chase's weekly intonation.

    "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."

    And Yao is still coming. That's all that really matters.

    The rest is just lawyers haggling with agents, representatives of two vastly different cultures working out the details in two different languages, with more than a half day's time difference making the exchange of faxed letters in legalese even more laborious.

    From the time the Rockets' traveling party boarded return flights home after meeting face-to-face with Yao and key officials in the Chinese basketball community last June, there was never a moment's doubt that the 7-5 MVP of the Shanghai Sharks was going to open the 2002-2003 NBA season wearing the cute pajamas of the Houston Rockets.

    It was always going to happen, because the lines of communication had been opened successfully and because Rockets owner Leslie Alexander told his troops to close the deal.

    While Alexander may be prone to wildly optimistic projections about his team, he has never once exaggerated his commitment to taking any steps necessary toward the on-court success of the franchise. He wants to win as much, if not more, than any image-conscious high roller in the front row or rabid, face-painted fan in the cheap seats.

    What also has kept the process of getting Yao's name on an official NBA contract from moving along at the attention-deficit pace we would like has been his forced obligation to the Chinese national team, which played in the World Basketball Championships at Indianapolis through early September and has now reached the semifinals of the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

    The Asian Games end Monday. Give him a few days to return home to settle affairs then make the trip, and we're looking at maybe Oct. 20 when Yao arrives in Houston.

    To the Chinese government, it would have been putting the cart ahead of the ox to have a jubilant Yao celebrating his $18 million NBA windfall before taking care of his long-standing business at home.

    So a dutiful, and perhaps bored, Yao -- who got a glimpse of his new life, new career path and potential wealth in America this summer -- has spent the past couple of weeks dropping double doubles on the likes of Kuwait and Taipei as the Chinese have rolled toward a gold medal.

    Only unwise speculation would have had the Chinese torching the deal with the NBA. The Sharks and the Chinese Basketball Association have always been in agreement that this is the inevitable next logical step, and the parameters of the deal were framed in the letter the Rockets received back in June. Further evidence has been the raising of Yao's celebrity image to Jordan-like proportions in China since the night of the draft.

    Even more proof is the fact Yao has already entered into marketing agreements with several U.S. businesses to promote his arrival in America.

    Just click on e-Bay to see how the Yao Ming dynasty of collectibles already is taking flight with three pages of listings that offer 150 different items. There are Yao trading cards in at least a dozen varieties. For a bid of $24.60 on Wednesday afternoon, you could get a first edition of his rookie card. For $4.99, you can have an electrical wall switchplate with Yao shooting a running hook. For $7.95, you can wear a T-shirt (size XL) from the Guang Dong Tigers, "a team that plays in the same league as Yao the Rockets star." For $99.95, one outfit is offering a combination card of Houston's pair of No. 1 picks -- Yao and David Carr (in a Fresno State uniform) -- that purportedly comes with a swatch of their respective jerseys.

    And in case you still have doubts, consider that on Sept. 5, during his stay in Indianapolis, Yao sat down with representatives of two memorabilia firms, SportsCentre Authenticated and All-Star Lineup, to sign dozens of basketballs now being offered for anywhere from $73.11 to $289.99. There are photos of him signing.

    For one raised under the yoke of communist oppression, this would seem to be a nifty, cash-sniffing slam dunk.

    Yes, he's coming. Later rather than sooner and maybe with a capitalist's weary right hand from all those autographs.

    In some ways, it seems, Yao's already here.
  2. Old School

    Old School Member

    Nov 7, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Now that Hakeem is retiring Blinebury has latched himself firmly to Yao's jock.

  3. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
    Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2002
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    That was damned funny, Old School.

    And true.

  4. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

    Jul 1, 2001
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    hmm, seems he has a thing for "big" men. :eek:
  5. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

    Aug 12, 2001
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    Fran is something to behold, but I am not quite sure what that might be.

    anyway Fran Sucks!! :)
  6. smoothie

    smoothie Jabari Jungle

    Mar 1, 2001
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    yao will prove them all wrong!.....in 3 years.

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

    Apr 25, 2000
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    Well, I hope that Yao---even after figuring Blinebury's a jerk---will be our conduit for some decent, less-than-scurrilous Rockets articles.
  8. coke

    coke Member

    Sep 12, 2002
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    Yao for te ROY!!!!!
  9. fba34

    fba34 Contributing Member

    May 24, 2001
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    god dont say that. i picked yao in the 5/6th round of yahoo fantasy basketball.

    c'mon yao. block 5 shots a night:mad:

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