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H Chronicle: Center would like to become a career Rocket

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Rob English, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Rob English

    Rob English Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/2812085

    Yao feels at home even in Texas heat
    Center would like to become a career Rocket


    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

    If ever there was a day in which Yao Ming would have been tempted to plot his exit from Houston, this was it.


    Anthony Falsone, Yao's demanding, thick 5-foot-7 shadow, had just pushed him and a small group of Rockets' players and hopefuls through a long, grueling workout at Rice Stadium.

    Yao had spent much of his offseason hearing Falone's commands when, while splashing sweat and gulping air, he was asked if he would like to play his entire career with the Rockets.

    "I'd like to stay here," he said. "I like Houston's people. They've been nice to me. I'm lucky I'm not here in the summer."

    Yao added that while every player would prefer to play for one team, he has seen how things change in the NBA.

    But when asked if, assuming the Rockets want him through his career, if he would want to play for the Rockets, he said simply, "Of course."

    "You know what," Yao said, "in China most players play for the same team for their whole life."

    He even said he was so eager to remain with the Rockets, that he would want to play in Houston even if Falsone remains the strength and conditioning coach.

    "Will that change?" Yao said. "I don't think so."

    With that, the summer conditioning program had seemingly strengthened Yao's resolve as much as his biceps.

    "The Rockets sent Anthony to China to keep my shape up," Yao said. "Also, he helped the national team. He was a big help for me.

    "I'm beginning to understand this summer a player has to keep working and have a big step in the summer and not just lie down and relax and get out of shape. That's what Anthony has shown me."

    Part of Falsone's mission to China was to teach those lessons.

    But he said Yao was always willing to work. The work itself has brought Yao back to Houston at 309 pounds with 8 1/2 percent body fat and in much better condition than at the start of his career.

    Sprinting into shape
    That much was obvious Thursday, his second full day back in town. After the morning session in the Toyota Center gym, the workout began with 20 sprints, beginning at five yards and increasing in five-yard increments to 100 yards.

    That's the warmup.

    After that, Yao, Clarence Weatherspoon, Tyronn Lue and Scott Padgett ran four 100-yard sprints, four 80-yard sprints, four 60-yard sprints and 12 40-yard sprints.

    The workout then moved to the stadium steps — 10 repetitions running up and walking down the lower bowl of Rice Stadium.

    "We're in preseason mode," Falsone said. "We're lifting probably about four days a week, sometimes five if we can. Conditioning is six days a week. We do track work twice a week.

    "His program has always been different because with Yao, we never had a chance to work with him in the summertime. It's always been a program that gradually increased as the year went on.

    "When he went back to China, there was not the chance to do the same kind of program we would do here. This year, I had a chance to spend three weeks with him and the national team, and then I went back for 12 days. We've had a better opportunity to do our work.

    "Coach (Jeff Van Gundy) asked me if I was willing to do it, and hey, if coach asks me if I'm willing to do something, that's what I do. It's my time to pull the wagon a little bit. Coach, he and all the coaching staff, really pull it during the season. Offseason is my time, and I love working with Yao. I'll go to Antarctica if I have to."

    Conditioning a constant
    Yao seemed happy to have him, describing the workouts as the one thing he could control after a summer in which so much about the Rockets' roster has changed.

    "We made big changes in the summer," Yao said. "For me, I think it's like another rookie year. Lots of things are happening that we don't know. But conditioning, practice, shooting practice, whatever, those are things we know. We can do it so we have to do it."

    Many can say such things, but Yao had just completed the sprints in his first days back in the Texas heat, he even sounded at home.

    "Today is barbecue my feet," Yao said. "It's pretty warm here. It's soft (turf), but it's heat.

    "But we're from Texas."

    jonathan.feigen@chron.com
     
  2. Davidoff

    Davidoff Contributing Member

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    "309 pounds with 8 1/2 percent body fat" Thats good for YAO right? what do we think Shaq is at now he has lost a few pounds?
     
  3. wireonfire

    wireonfire Contributing Member

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    I think 309 is about the target the team set for him. He used to be more than 10% body fat, I believe. So that means he is gaining muscle, losing fat.

    I really want to see a Yao who doesn't tire out too quickly. Only this way he'll dominate.
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    309 lbs at 8.5 percent body fat is just ridiculous. That is lean and mean.
     
  5. Sane

    Sane Member

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    Shaq should be somewhere around 320 now.

    Eddy Curry is around 280 now.


    I think Yao will be amazing this season if JVG loosens the reigns a little and allows him to bring back some of the moves he used in his rookie season as well.

    Damn, Yao is probably in even better shape than he was in the Olympics, which is terriffic. I just hope to God Falsone hasn't ignored "burnout" completely.

    I can't wait for the season.
     
  6. blazer_ben

    blazer_ben Rookie

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    i was thinking the exact same thing. with such a heavy workload, i hope he dosent burnout on us say ome the playoffs.
     
  7. Visagial

    Visagial Contributing Member

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    I'm sure Falsone knows a lot about conditioning, but it sure sounds as if their there's a danger of wearing Yao out. Any physical trainers out there who can chime in?
     
  8. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Shaq lost that much weight? He needed to atleast.

    But I agree with your assesment about JVG loosening the reigns. JVG is not an offensive coach, we all know that, but I think he tries to control too much of it.

    Yao/TMac are smart players, they know how to play the game right, I hope JVG recognizes this and lets them play. Our offense was too mechanical last season, these guys know how to play, let them take care of business.
     
  9. Rocket Fan

    Rocket Fan Member

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    was that yao that said the. . but we're from texas at the end...

    I'd pay to see yao at the rodeo in a cowboy hat with some country singer on stage beside him
     
  10. PhiSlammaJamma

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    I think the better physical condition you are in the less chance you will burn out. Just my opinion. It's the fatty's and skinny's that seem to lose their desire for the game.
     
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    Not a chance. There are reasons they call them strength AND CONDITIONING coaches. They know just how much a player needs and when they need to rest. They are involved with what they eat, how much they sleep, when they lift weights, when they run, etc. It is more than just working players out.

    The last two years, Yao has not had the benefit of this kind of offseason program and he has worn out by the end of the season. Now that he has had it this year, he will probably get stronger as the year goes on.
     
  12. ucansee2020

    ucansee2020 Contributing Member

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    An average normal person should have about 20% fat and below. Of course, a lot of people in the U.S are way above that. 8.5% fat is lean, even for athletes.
     
  13. Sane

    Sane Member

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    You are lumping physical and mental burnout into one pile.

    Losing desire for game - mental.

    Body too exhausted to perform - physical.


    We're worried about the physical. Yao sounds relaxed, and has a good amount of time off this summer.
     
  14. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    :eek:



    and sane, mental and physical conditioning are absolutely linked. when you are physically tired you often lose focus and desire. you can fight through it to a degree, but there is no doubt that one affects the other.
     
  15. Hippieloser

    Hippieloser Contributing Member

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    Yao doesn't sound burned out. He sounds pumped. He sounds excited. After those cracks about the heat, he sounds like Houstonian.

    I think Falsone's work with the National Team really meant something to Yao. I really like all this talk about being a career Rocket. Let's hope T-Mac will feel the same way!!

    Man, I'm so pumped about this season. It sounds like Yao is finally ready to be a beast. 309 at 8% body fat? Get outta here!!
     
  16. kanevil

    kanevil Contributing Member

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    I think we will see a totally different Yao this year..... one that doesnt tire out so easily, a more DOMINANT Yao Ming!
     
  17. FriendofEarth

    FriendofEarth Contributing Member

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    Just curious, but does anyone else know how common it is for a team's strength and conditioning coach to be this involved with players during the offseason? I mean Yao is definitely a special case due to his CNT obligations, but it's good to hear that Anthony is working with some of those other guys as well. I have no frame of reference for this, just curious if I should get really excited about these offseason workouts or if this is something that normally happens with most teams...

    Thanks in advance
     
  18. m_cable

    m_cable Contributing Member

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    I don't think the team's trainer will usually work with guys in the offseason, until the volunatary workouts. It seems like guys usually just hire a personal trainer to help them out.
     
  19. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    I doubt it is very common....but Yao is a special situation.

    Since he cant be over here to follow the regime that might be laid out for him to improve, the Rockets sent the trainer to him....and in the process the entire CNT was able to benefit...which does two things....it not only allows Yao to workout the way that the Rockets need him to....but it makes him happy to have his teammates on the CNT be able to benefit from it also.

    Yao is the franchise now...and the Rockets will contiinue to treat him special for as long as he wishes to remain a Rocket.

    it is just common sense...
     
  20. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    From the the conference shown in the fox26 segment, Yao didnt look bruned-out at all after 3 hour trainning. I am not too worried.
     

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