This year’s annual NBA China Games was supposed to be NBA China’s dream matchup—seven-time all-star Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets facing Yi Jianlian on their home soil. But after Yi was traded to the Washington Wizards, the games became all about Yao and the Rockets.
Game 1 was in Beijing, and Houston won, 91-81. Yao played 19 minutes, scored 9 points, and grabbed 4 rebounds. The Rockets also took Game 2 in Guangzhou, and Yao notched 10 points and 5 rebounds, again in 19 minutes.
Here’s a look at some of the stories about Yao and the games:
Long-time Rockets writer Jonathan Feigen at the Houston Chronicle takes a quick look at the arc of Yao’s career, that the 14-year-old who watched the NBA’s first live broadcast in China grew up play a key role in the league’s progress and popularity in China. Some interesting facts from Feigen’s piece:
Between 3 and 5 percent of NBA revenue comes from China, according to David Stern.
Rockets games average more than 30 million viewers, says Rockets CEO Tad Brown.
Most seasons, about 7 of the Rockets 85 sponsors are Chinese brands, representing 5 percent of sponsorship revenue.
Sports Illustrated Yao’s struggle to return to playing form after his May 2009 foot injury, and speculates about the impact that the center, reportedly on a 24-minutes-per-game plan for the coming season, can make.
CBS Sports says Yao looked as good as could be expected in his limited minutes in Beijing
The Houston Chronicle reminds us that Yao’s teammates and the Rockets franchise enjoy a share of his spoils in the Chinese market. Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry all have sneaker contracts with Chinese brands. (Rockets enjoy Chinese endorsement deals due to Yao)
Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA China Games, New Jersey Nets, Yao Ming