I’m gonna miss Yao Ming…
Younger fans might not know Yao Ming for anything other than injuries, but apart from missing the healthier years of his career when he dominated, they don’t know what a good guy he is, or how hilarious he is. I’d actually been planning on posting these videos if the lockout dragged on, and well, no time like the present (though as I write this his agents are refuting the reports that Yao has told the league he’s retiring).
These are from a Yao Ming Roast for charity back in ’08. Apart from the laughs, I really enjoyed seeing the genuine affection that exists between Yao, Jeff Van Gundy, and Dikembe Mutombo.
[There is a Jazz mention during JVG's intro: "About this time last year, we were shoveling food under the door as he prepared to play the Utah Jazz...")
Yao’s agent, Bill Duffy, also tells a hilarious story about Yao getting accidentally plastered during a commercial shoot here (3:45 mark).
One of the best one-liners of the night IMO was Del Harris’ “When he was born on September 12th…and 13th…and 14th…” which is here.
I’m gonna miss him. Just a good, good guy whose humility stood out in a world of mutantly gigantic egos. And just to clear this up because way too many American sportswriters still don’t know…last name Yao, first name Ming.