For years Charles Barkley was the runaway winner in this category, but now he has some competition. Yao Ming played in a celebrity golf tournament in China and… he’s not good. Not that you really expect him to be — when you are 7’6″ there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong in your swing. But he’s not good. The stance is awkward, the club seems too short (can you say custom-made shafts?) and there is just a whole lot of badness.
But it’s for charity, so we’ll just laugh it off. And if you want to compare it to Barkley…
It’s been one of the most commonly asked questions about Jeremy Lin — how did he slip through the cracks of the system
This is a guy who was one of the most dominant high school players in the Bay Area but couldn’t get a major college scholarship offer and went to Harvard. After four years there he couldn’t get drafted by NBA teams. He went to Summer League and showed real promise, but languished on the Warriors bench for a year, then they cut him. Then the Rockets cut him. The Knicks sent him to the D-League (where he racked up a triple-double) and he only got his chance there because of injuries.
“This is something else that Jeremy Lin has brought to us. It has given us something to reflect on, whether there are imperfections over the development and selection process for our basketball players over the past 10 or 20 years,” he told Reuters in an interview.
Yao said he was aware of Lin — who is an American, a first generation of Taiwanese descent — but did not offer him advice.
“First, New York and Houston are different. Also, the cultures of the two basketball teams are different, the cities are different, the teammates he faces are different, so I don’t wish to tell him too much.
“If I do so, perhaps I will give him too much pressure.”
That pressure is on Lin now, but he is handling it incredibly well.
Chase Budinger dunks over Yao Ming (well, a cut out of him)
Clearly this is a staged video, with the Rockets’ Chandler Parsons “talking to the media” while Chase Budinger just happens to do a dunk over a cardboard cutout of Yao Ming in the background. Coincidentally.
Still, pretty cool. And this is why I hold out some hope for this year’s All-Star Dunk Contest — Budinger is very athletic and can throw it down. Just-added Jeremy Evans is a human pogo stick. Paul George is the favorite and threw down a big dunk in-game last night. There may not be star power but there is potential with this group. We’ll see what comes of it Saturday night.
It’s always one of the tricky questions surrounding Thanksgiving dinner — what wine goes best with this feast? Traditionally you think white wine with fowl, but who wants some overly oaky California Chardonnay to go between mouthfuls of stuffing and sweet potatoes? I usually lean toward a nice Pinot Noir, but those can be so hit and miss depending on the year and vintner.
What I should have served — Yao Ming wine.
Which I could have had if I were rich and at the right auction in China, according to China Daily (via SLAM). Best part is the bottle is oversized, just like Yao.
Yao’s new Napa Valley wine company, Yao Family Wines, has released its inaugural wine under the name “Yao Ming: a 2009Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon”.
It comes in a magnum bottle – meaning it can hold 1.5 liters of wine – costs 3,800 Yuan ($596) a pop and is extremely rare. None of the 1,200 bottles in existence will be sold on the open market.
There was only one bottle made public and the proceeds from the auction for it went to help the Special Olympics in China. And $600 is a tad more than I normally spend on a bottle, so I did not bid.
The Yao I saw who with teammates and was came off as thoughtful in his talks with media, it was easy to like him, but he was really a mystery to a lot of fans. When he retired the discussion was more about marketing and global impact than his game. And there was so little talk of him as a person.
Giles Li, an Asian-American poet out of Boston, turned his poem “First Draft of Yao Ming’s Retirement Speech” into the video below. It is fantastic, and like all good art helps us view people and the world a little bit differently. Gives us new perspective. You should watch this.