Remember that really tall Chinese guy who came to the NBA, because he was so good at basketball in China, and featured in crazy soda commercials of him having an army of pandas?
That poor soul is dead and gone, yet Yao Ming’s body keeps chugging along, playing a couple emotionless games until the inevitable bone explosion. He fractured his right knee in 2006, had a stress fracture in his foot in 2008 and suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle just a couple weeks ago, ending his season and possibly longer. He’s just awfully break-y, huh?
If you’re a normal person, you’d think that the Rockets would let him heal and keep him around, since he’s been good his whole career when he’s healthy, almost averaging a double-double in his career in Houston (19.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG). What do the Rockets say, though? “WHO WANTS HIM?”
It actually makes sense, though, as Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo explains:
The lure of acquiring Yao for potential suitors is the $8 million in savings that insurance will provide for his $17.7 million expiring contract this season. Some teams are considering re-signing Yao on a short-term deal with hopes of restoring him to playing health, while others see his contract as a cost-saving measure.
The Rockets are dangling Yao to acquire a good young player with an upside, if not an established talent. Despite offering Yao in trades, the Rockets haven’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing him to a short-term contract extension.
Take a physically (and maybe mentally at this point) broken former great, save a lot of money. A very crafty sell, Daryl Morey. I’m sure Bill Simmons will write something about this, most likely inserting it as a tangent inside his NFL picks column (that’s how he rolls, brah).
As a final note, I present to you another great commercial featuring Yao. It’s great because his name sounds like an informal American greeting, and it’s also great because New York stereotypes are hilarious!