The Great Wall of Houston officially retired from the NBA. Most of us were waiting for the past three years now. Yao was obviously trying his hardest to get back, but the mind finally gave in. He finally accepted it after all this time. Houston moved on a long time ago, but we will never forget what Yao brought to the NBA (besides injuries) such as his skills and the gates opening up for China.
When the NBA laid eyes on Yao Ming as the potential number one pick, (be real) many people got racial with their statements. “But he’s Asian.” Yep, that’s the first thing that comes to people. What they really should be asking, “Is he for real?” Even Charles Barkley, Dick Vitale, and many others were claiming that Yao was going to be a bust. Charles Barkley ended up kissing a donkey’s ass.
Ching chong ling long or what Shaq once said, “Ching chong wah yang wah ah soh” – Translation: Yep, Yao Ming is legit.
You knew Yao was doin’ it when the Houston Rockets chose him as the team’s unofficial preferred free throw shooter. Come on, man. The guy is 7-6. We’re not going to see that again from any center. That’s rare. Wow. He was making nearly 87% from the line at his peak.
When he was 100% healthy, Yao Ming truly was the best center in the NBA after Shaq started falling off. Yep, better than Dwight Howard even in fantasy stat land. No need to mention his exact numbers – just remember that he averaged 25 points per game during the 2006-2007 season, but he was riddled with injuries. Rather, let’s focus on how he did things.
Strengths: Tough player. Bangs in the post. Back to the basket game. Can finish with either hand. Nice little jump shot. Foul him and he’ll punish at the line. Nice defender. Great rebounder. Solid passer. Tall.
Weaknesses: Slow. Injury plagued. Lack of athleticism.
There you go. He is everything you want in a big man. Did we see him at his peak? Nope. Just like Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway, Bill Walton, and Greg Oden, we can add Yao to that list. At least, we witnessed a good amount of work. We saw him at All Star games. We saw him play more games when he was about to reach his ceiling.
No matter what anyone says, he was cursed to play with Steve Francis and Tracy McGrady. How unfortunate. One guy dribbled the ball too much thinking that it was some “And 1” game and the other had many chances to play many games, but didn’t because he probably didn’t feel like it. Yep, they were bad teammates.
Where does he rank? It’s low considering that the sample of work is small to determine anything. He’s not a bad player. When healthy, he performed at a superstar hall of fame pace. I don’t know if he can get to the Hall of Fame. I just don’t know. If it was based on stats, he is not getting in. We’ll see.
I can see him getting into the Hall just because he opened the China market by himself.