Tuesday , Feb , 26 , 2008 Christopher Sells

Yaoch: A Houston Fan’s Pain

Yaoch: A Houston Fan's PainI can’t figure out whether I should curse or cry. I may do both.

If you haven’t heard, Yao Ming is gone for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs. Not that it matters, because Houston may very well be sitting at home come May. And even if they’re not, them pushing past the first round for the first time in what seems like forever is a very long shot.

Yao has a stress fracture in his left foot that will require him to miss about four months. There may or may not be surgery, but the recovery time is supposed to be about the same either way. No matter what, Yao will soon be hobbling around on what are probably the tallest crutches ever made.

This is Yao’s fourth major injury in two years. It occurred the week after the trade deadline, meaning the Rockets can’t trade to try and find a suitable fill-in. Instead, the team will look to unproven youngsters and the ancient Dikembe Mutombo or sign Jamaal Magloire or P.J. Brown. Pardon me for not being excited about any of those possibilities.

The Rockets are only three games out of the conference lead, riding a 12-game winning streak. They are also three games away from missing the postseason altogether in what is an insanely good Western Conference. It is assumed that Yao’s injury means that the Rockets will miss out on what is shaping up to be the most exciting playoffs ever.

I wish I had more words, but as Hoopsvibe’s resident Houston sports fan, I’m just a little sad and a little angry. I’m trying to be optimistic here, but I’m starting to realize that the franchise may in fact be destined to do just enough to not suck every year. There will apparently be nothing that can be done.

So this is me, resigned to the fact that I’ll be watching the playoffs from the perspective as an outsider looking in. Through teary eyes.