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Yao Ming will never be HOF caliber but will make it in the HOF.
Let’s make sense of this and keep the Hall sacred.
If we are basing this simply off the numbers and what he produced on the court. He was a solid but never dominant Center….and should never be considered for the Hall Of Fame.
Looking at the dynamics of Yao’s stature, 7’6” 310 and some what agile for his frame. Nice hands and touch on his shot. His statistics are solid averaging around 20 points per game, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks for his career. His playoff statistics far as 2 less rebounds and 5 more points. All quite solid for any player.
But for someone 7’6”, “solid” is not good enough. He should’ve been GREAT. ESPECIALLY in a League at this time with NO dominant inside, “ole school” Center type players.
Yao, came into the NBA, in 2002. First Round, First Pick, by the Rockets. At this point, in the NBA, the only head over hills dominant centers were Shaq and Mutumbo. Alonzo Morning was on his down side of his career and was a floater Center at this point.
Now don’t get me wrong Mourning ,is and was a HELLUVA player at that point. But he was no longer “Zo” at that point of his career. But with that said, Yao, didn’t have to go up against those great Centers.
Yao, missed the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon in his prime at this point. He missed Ewing, Robinson, Mutumbo in his prime. He missed even the “scrapper” non-centers that would bang down there with him. He missed the Barkleys, the Charles Oakleys, Anthony Masons, Rodmans, Horace Grants. The players that would’ve given him trouble down in the blocks without proper technique and footwork.
At the point of his inception into the league, all he had was Tim Duncan, who really is a Power Forward, Mutumbo, and Shaq. Of these three players, two he would see his conference. Then some years later Mutumbo would team with him, to mentor him.
Now, once again let’s examine the facts. Shaq was at the pinnacle of his career at this point. So NO ONE could stop “Diesel” but “Diesel”. Tim Duncan had a hellacious team around him to complement his skill set. After that who is there for him to have been challenged by at 7’6” 310?
If you look at the logistics of this argument, at worst case you should be 3rd in the Western Conference.Behind Los Angeles, which has Shaq, and San Antonio, with Duncan. Which gives you the position to not play either in the opening round. Which makes you be a “shoe in” to get to at least the Second Round just off statistics, potential, and fortune.
But Yao, did this only once.
And in the last year of him being of service…with a bad foot.
Let’s look at the teams he played on and his teammates. The Rockets have not been a “powerhouse/dominant” team since after their 95 Championship. Which ironically correlates with the fact they changed stadiums and uniforms, but that’s a whole “‘nother” story.
Yao played with the likes of Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley during his incarnation into the league. Now, neither are “SuperStar” caliber (Francis is up for debate) but collectively are a nice cohesive unit. Together, Francis and Mobley were averaging 38.5 points per game with 9 assist. Strong numbers.
Yet only made it to the playoffs to get bounced in the First Round.
Francis and Mobley, get traded to Orlando, for the Scoring Champ Tracy McGrady and a few other players. At this point in McGrady’s career, he was consider to be the premiere player in the league. Second only to Kobe/Iverson.
McGrady would average in his prime with the Rockets 25.7 points and 5.7 assist.
Yet the only time the Rockets made it to the 2nd Round was when they acquired Ron Artest. McGrady and Yao would be hobbled and play limited if any minutes to attribute to the accomplishment.
This Hall Of Fame play? A strong cohesive unit, or the scoring champ, yet you being the dominant specimen that you are can only “make it” to the Second Round to watch? Then you look at the landscape of “Centers” and all you have is Dwight Howard, which is a Power Forward, and Andrew Bynum? Where was this “break from the pack…show my defiance and dominance” Yao.
Now, the case is closed on his contributions ON the court.
OFF THE COURT……
He will be made a Hall Of Famer based strictly off this. Nobody since Michael Jordan, globalized and bridged cultures the way that Yao has in sports, let alone the NBA. (Beckham is HIGHLY debatable here)
He is the ambassador of the globalization of the NBA. Now, don’t get me wrong his scenery had just a major part of his success as it does anything else. Houston, has a very deep, and diverse Asian culture. Just like many other major market cities, Houston, has a “Chinatown” that is quite complex. From our NASA Space Program, to one of our major suburbs of Houston, Clear Lake has a very prominent, Asian impacted effect. And as you would see at ALL Rocket games, at the Toyota Center, Asians SUPPORT their own. Yao, is no exception.
The Rockets, have been HORRIBLE, as of late. Especially, since Ron Artest signed with the Lakers and won an NBA championship. But, no matter the record, Asian culture comes out to support Yao. When his name is said, picture is show on the TitanTron, wither he is playing or not, he gets a ROWDY response.
But look at the dynamics, strong Asian culture, in a major market city. The parallels just came together right.
And the Rockets CAPITALIZED off it.
From the obvious, Toyota Center. If you are from Houston, let alone Texas, you know “FORD is the best in Texas." Yet, after the Summit, faltered, and Compaq Center was bought out by Lakewood Church. Toyota helped sponsor the "House Yao Built". As well as, with the demographics that are, Yao having a strong Asian base propelled the ship. Yao, has been in the top 5 of jersey sells every year since his rookie season. As well as being a top All-Star Ballot receiver, wither healthy or not, in every All-Star Game he has been eligible for. So when you look at Yao, helped float a floundering team and economy by being just APART of the Rockets.
So when you look at the landscape at hand you realize the obvious. Politics are just as much a part of sports, as they are government, as they are everyday life. Will he actually make it to the Hall instead being a “Helper” we shall see soon.
Open Ya Eyes,
Personal Trainer Joseph Herman, II is an independent trainer working out of the Greater Houston Area. He specializes in athletic performance, youth athletics, and personal training for all backgrounds.In addition to training, Joseph currently writes on this blog, is working to build a full fledged website, and start a personal training and athletic complex to display his talents. Joseph can be reached at JLHermanII@gmail.com.
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