The Great Wall of Yao

Revisiting incredible stories from Yao Ming’s biography

Whenever I talk to someone about basketball, one question I always get asked is “You’re from New York right, so why are you a fan of the Houston Rockets?” Well, two words. Yao Ming. 

Yao inspired me to start following basketball roughly 14 years ago, and even though he retired in 2011, I will always be a Rockets fan first and Knicks fan second. Yao has written two books – a biography in 2004 on his rookie season, and “A Journey in Africa (Chinese Edition)” in 2014 advocating wildlife animal protection.

After reading Yao Ming’s Players Tribune article, I re-read his 2004 biography, YAO: A Life in Two Worlds, last week and found a lot of interesting stories, ideas and quotes that I think readers will really appreciate.

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#ForgottenFridays – Von Wafer

Revisiting players who have quietly disappeared from the league.

In this weekly series, we revisit players who were once valuable contributors and maybe even well known during their NBA careers, but have since quietly disappeared from the league. The kind of players who make you go “Oh yeah! I remember that guy”.

This week, we will cover Houston Rockets fan favorite – Von Wafer.

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Rockets vs. Warriors – How Clutch City can shock the world

Analyzing how Houston can pull off the impossible

The Houston Rockets actually did it! After all the ups and downs of their tumultuous season, the Rockets snuck into the playoffs by beating up on the helpless Sacramento Kings last night. A big thank you to the Utah Jazz as well for their epic collapse over the last two weeks. Thanks Jazz!

Now the really hard part begins as the 41-41 Rockets travel to Oakland Saturday night to play the 73-9 Golden wState Warriors in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals. Will the Warriors even drop a game? The #1 seed defending champs won the most regular season games in NBA history, doing so in dominating fashion with a historically good offense led by greatest-shooter-ever Stephen Curry. The #8 Rockets meanwhile, have been what their record indicates they are – a mediocre team seemingly destined for a quick playoff exit.

But we play the games for a reason. Even though the Rockets are HUGE underdogs, they bring back the same team that played the Warriors close last season, this time with a healthy Patrick Beverley and semi-healthy Donatas Motiejūnas. The Rockets have also played great the last 3 games (granted they were against bad teams), while the Warriors have stumbled a little to close out the season. Can “Clutch City” live up to its name? Can the Houston Rockets pull off the historical upset and shock the world? YES, and this is how they do it.

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What on earth went wrong with the Houston Rockets?

Breaking down how a team fell so far

What a disappointing season it’s been for the Houston Rockets. Last year, the Rockets won the South-“bestern” division where literally every single team made the playoffs. They were second seed in the West with Dwight Howard only playing 41 games. They made the Western Conference Finals, the furthest they had ever gone since the Hakeem era. James Harden was the runner-up MVP and the second leading scorer in the league. He even played defense!

After bringing back basically the same team and also adding one of the league’s top playmakers in Ty Lawson during the offseason, the Rockets entered 2015-16 with high expectations. Things were looking up in H-town.
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