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Yao Ming’s Era Will Come?

Posted December. 11, 2002 22:35,   


Here is an episode about Yao Ming (22) of Houston Rookies in the US NBA.

Charles Barkley, a famous NBA star matching Michael Jordan in 1990s, kissed the ass of a donkey on a TV show on November 24. Prior to the beginning of this season, he promised he would kiss a donkey`s ass if Yao Ming should score more than 19 in a game. Yao Ming, contrary to Barkley`s prediction, recorded 20 points on Nov. 18 against LA Lakers, and 30 on Nov. 22 against Dallas Mavericks. Consequently, Barkley had to honor his word.

Most cherished new player in drafting, Yao Ming (22, China, 226cm) has adjusted himself to the US basketball very rapidly.

Yesterday, against Sacramento Kings, Yao Ming made 17 points and 15 rebounds, recording the "Double-Double" in 4 consecutive games. With Yao`s help, his team won the game 103-96. Since his debut, he has played in 19 games and records an average of 11.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds.

Prior to the victory, Houston had lost 9 games in a row against Sacramento ever since March 29, 1999.

In the game, Yao Ming demonstrated himself as a clutch shooter. In the 4th quarter, he widened his team`s lead with hook shoots and jump shoots from 89-94 to 93-84. Then, he made two more points out of free throws, securing the victory for his team.

At the beginning, Yao Ming did not perform satisfactorily. So, commentators said in a negative tone, "He has a potential. But it would take at least 3 seasons for him to make adjustment." Now, however, nobody denies he is one of the star players valuable to Houston Rookies. And the team itself points to Yao Ming as a new momentum propelling it toward one more championship.

When Yao Ming made his debut on Oct. 31, he played for 11 minutes, and failed to score any. For the next 5 games, he played for an average of 12.3 minutes, recording just 3.3 points and rebounds. These games, however, proved to be a warming up period for Yao Ming.

Gaining more and more confidence, Yao Ming proved himself with powerful plays under the basket and accurate long-range shoots. What attracts the attention most is the steep curve he has been making. On Nov. 16 against Phoenix, he scored 10. Then on Nov. 18 against LA Lakers, he made 20 points. Again on Nov 22nd against Dallas, he recorded 30 points.

Before starting his career as a basketball player, Yao Ming did water polo. That is why he is agile for his statue. Based on that agility, he is also good at defense. On the Dec. 4th game against San Antonio, he blocked a dunk shoot by Tim Duncan and recorded 18 rebounds.

At around this time, US press began to describe Jordan as "Old Wizard," and Yao Ming as "New Wizard. "

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com