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[ESPN Mag] I thought Yao would be a disaster. What am I, a moron? (Bill Simmons)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jsmee2000, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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    article link

    THE SPORTS GUY
    I thought Yao would be a disaster. What am I, a moron?
    Updated: January 25, 2008, 10:52 AM ET - by Bill Simmons


    After the Rockets drafted Yao Ming last summer, I wrote that he'd get dunked on more than a cup of coffee at Krispy Kreme. I called him a "disaster waiting to happen," even throwing in the portentous phrase "Mark my words."

    The lesson, as always? I'm an idiot. Forget about Yao's emergence as the most polished rookie big man since Brad Daugherty, or that he offers the first worthy challenge to Shaq since Hakeem was still The Dream. If you're a basketball fan, you love Yao Ming. He's a godsend, the best Chinese import since General Tso. And I thought he'd stink. I may as well have predicted that Vin Baker would be the missing piece of the puzzle in Boston or the Blazers would be a team you could be proud to bring home to Mom.

    Like many hoops junkies, I now stalk SportsCenter every night for a Yao fix. Exceptionally well schooled and mobile, he affects the game at both ends like nobody since Bill Walton. His turnaround jumper—a borderline work of art—might be the most unblockable move since Kareem's skyhook. And when was the last time you saw a 7-footer start fastbreaks with 50-foot jai alai passes, or find open teammates with backdoor looks? In the Me-Me-Me NBA, that stuff isn't supposed to happen.

    HE'S AS COMPELLING AS MJ IN HIS PRIME, RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT CROSSED WITH A PETE NEWELL INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO.

    - null

    Throw in his enormous size, and he's the most compelling NBA player since MJ in his prime, Ripley's Believe It or Not crossed with Pete Newell's Big-Man Moves instructional video. When he's running the court, you can't take your eyes off Yao. I don't even feel that way about Shaq.

    Teammates and coaches took less time than I did to embrace the likable Yao. Since Day 1, they've said he lights up the locker room just by strolling through the door. Stevie Francis and Cuttino Mobley bought him new threads, taught him a three-step handshake and dubbed him "Dynasty." And the Houston fans treat him like royalty, swooning over his baskets like preteens at a Britney concert.

    So what happens once he masters English, meshes with teammates and fully adjusts to the best competition in the world? He's already the second-best center in the league; with no other young rivals at his position, he has no ceiling. Forget LeBron & the 89-inch Asian guy will dominate the NBA for the foreseeable future.

    If Yao's game hasn't yet won you over, surely you'll agree his indoctrination to Western culture has been the most enjoyable coming-to-America routine since, well, Coming to America. With Yao's thoughts converted from Mandarin to English by a translator, every quote sounds like poorly dubbed dialogue from a Bruce Lee movie. For instance, before Thanksgiving, Yao confessed he'd "heard of the turkey that is at the center of this meal." He describes victories with nuggets like "To get this victory, it's like being able to take a deep breath," and disappointing losses with Yogi-esque observations like "Sometimes the hardest challenges are easier than the more difficult ones."

    After a loss to Dallas, a disappointed Yao confessed, "You have to understand, I play the game in two parts. One part is the enjoyment of playing. The other part is, of course, winning. Today, I achieved half of that." Want a funny image? Think of Rasheed Wallace or Mike Miller saying the same stuff in bad '70s uniforms and with dubbing that doesn't match their lip movements.

    The surprising Yao even belts out one-liners like this one in Seattle: "I'm a little disappointed. I thought there would be a Starbucks on the bench." But he never strays far from the Tao of Yao, which centers on two principles: "Basketball is not something that you can talk about, but rather it's an action through which you can show people" and "Respect is something you earn, not something someone gives to you."

    Well, he has mine. I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the Yao Ming Era. Now, if we can all just forget that I was dead wrong about him. As Yao might say, "If you recant a prediction within six months, it vanishes from memory like a disappointing meal."
     
  2. mlwoo

    mlwoo Contributing Member

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    Weeeeeeiiiirrrrdddddd.
     
  3. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
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    bill simmons commentary is as worthless as toilet paper. he is just a humorous espn writer...not an analyst like he thinks. at least he is stepping up and realizing he is an idiot.
     
  4. magnetik

    magnetik Contributing Member

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    that article makes as much sense as a rabbit with a pancake on his head. hehe

    glad he was wrong.. but what's the deal about Yao getting drafted "last summer?"

    and did he just compare Yao to MJ in his prime?
     
  5. gxgf

    gxgf Member

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    this guy is definitely a Yao's fan now, good for him, just enjoy Yao's game, bro.
     
  6. London'sBurning

    London'sBurning Contributing Member

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    If it wasn't for the date of the article I would have thought this was a rehash thread of Simmons eating crow during Yao's rookie year.

    EDIT: This has to be an old article. Last summer opening, and the talks of Cuttino and Francis like they're still apart of the Rockets, plus all the undue praise without any comparable centers to back it up.
     
  7. whoisray

    whoisray Contributing Member

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    Where's the update?
     
  8. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    I don't get it, it says updated on top but where is the updated part? this article looks to be a reprint of his original one five years ago. :confused:
     
  9. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
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  10. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    Simmons is moving all of his old articles to a new space, the archive is being moved. So all of his old articles are being "updated". I get his feed and believe me its been incredibly annoying to see all the old bits again.
     
  11. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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    that's what I was wondering...I figured that if I posted it someone will notice the update!
     
  12. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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    Thanks...

    moderators please lock this non-sense up!
     
  13. choujie

    choujie Member

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    I don't think so. This is 5 year old article. He called Yao the biggest 2nd banana 2 years later, then changed mind again after Yao broke out in the 2nd half of 2005-2006, then changed his mind once more after Yao failed to advance to 2nd round last season.
     
  14. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    Yeah, this is really old. Nowadays, Simmons isn't high on Yao, and in particular he rips on his defense a ton.
     
  15. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    pretty sure this was written in 2003.
     

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