Yao Ming was born on 12th September 1980, in Shanghai, China. [141] Ye was not fond of Yao at first, but finally accepted him after he gave her the team pins he had collected during the 2000 Summer Olympics. [37] Barkley made good on his bet by kissing the buttock of a donkey purchased by Smith for the occasion (Smith's "ass"). Nothing is known of his relationships before marriage, as Ye Li is his long-time girlfriend. ft. 12 room, 5 bedroom, 5 bath, 2 half bath house in March 2007. [17], As American attention on Yao grew, Chinese authorities also took interest. [33] Yao played his first NBA game against the Indiana Pacers, scoring no points and grabbing two rebounds,[34][35] and scored his first NBA basket against the Denver Nuggets. [9] At 11 pounds (5.0 kg), Yao weighed more than twice as much as the average Chinese newborn. [104] The Yao-less Rockets went on to win Game 4 against the Lakers to even the series 2–2. [68], In 25 games after the All-Star break, Yao averaged 25.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.7% from the field and 87.8% at the free-throw line. [42] Yao also said he believed O'Neal was joking, but he said a lot of Asians would not see the humor.

[118] Continuing with the honours, on February 3, 2017, Yao's Number 11 jersey was retired by the Houston Rockets.

[153][154], In 2016, Yao opened a winery called Yao Family Wines in Napa Valley, California, which serves Cabernet Sauvignon blends and "the kind of rich-but-balanced luxury reds he'd come to enjoy in Houston steakhouses. [63] The Rockets won 51 games and finished fifth in the West, and made the playoffs for the second consecutive year, where they faced the Dallas Mavericks. Yao was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. [149] In 2009, Yao provided the voice for a character of a Chinese animated film, The Magic Aster, released on June 19. [33], In Yao's first game in Miami on December 16, 2002, the Heat passed out 8,000 fortune cookies, an East Asian cultural stereotype. [108], For the 2010–11 season, the Rockets said they would limit Yao to 24 minutes a game, with no plan to play him on back-to-back nights. [90] After Yao's injury, the Rockets stretched their winning streak to 22 games, at the time the second-longest such streak in NBA history. He serves as Global Ambassador and member of the International Board of Directors. [40] O'Neal denied that his comments were racist, and said he was only joking. [117], On September 9, 2016, Yao was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with 4-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson. [72] With only four games left in the season, Yao suffered another injury in a game against the Utah Jazz on April 10, 2006, which left him with a broken bone in his left foot. [60] Although Yao said that Francis and Mobley had "helped [him] in every way [his] first two seasons", he added, "I'm excited about playing with Tracy McGrady. [7], Yao is the only child of 6-foot-7-inch (2.01 m) Yao Zhiyuan and 6-foot-3-inch (1.91 m) Fang Fengdi,[8] both of whom were former professional basketball players. In the final group game, however, a 67–66 win over the reigning 2002 FIBA World Champions Serbia and Montenegro moved them into the quarterfinals. "[155] American wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. of The Wine Advocate gave Yao's wine a ranking of 96 points and wrote: "I am aware of all the arguments that major celebrities lending their names to wines is generally a formula for mediocrity, but... the two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa. His next season was cut short when he broke his foot for the second time in his career, which Yao said decreased his jumping ability by four to six inches (10 to 15 cm). Celui-ci s’est engagé plus largement pour la défense des animaux et de la vie sauvage à travers le monde, comme dans le cadre d’un reportage nominé aux Emmy Awards intitulé « Sauvons les géants d’Afrique avec Yao Ming » contre le braconnage des éléphants et des rhinoceros. Yao bought this 9,580 sq. [110] Yao's contract with the Rockets expired at the end of the season, and he became a free agent. [40] In an earlier interview in 2000, Yao said he had never seen a fortune cookie in China and guessed it must have been an American invention. [50] The Rockets made the playoffs for the first time in Yao's career, claiming the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Yao led the Chinese national team to three consecutive FIBA Asia Cup gold medals, winning the 2001 FIBA Asian Championship, the 2003 FIBA Asian Championship, and the 2005 FIBA Asian Championship.

[160] He eventually signed with Coca-Cola for the 2008 Olympics. [98] However, the Rockets lost their next two games,[99][100] and Yao was diagnosed with a sprained ankle after Game 3. [83], On May 18, 2007, only weeks after the Rockets were eliminated from the playoffs, Jeff Van Gundy was dismissed as head coach.

Injured All-Stars are usually required to attend the All-Star functions and to be introduced at the game, but Yao was not in Los Angeles because of his rehabilitation schedule after his surgery. [14] The Sharks made the finals of the CBA in Yao's third season and again the next year, but lost both times to the Bayi Rockets. The Rockets faced the Lakers in the second round, and Yao scored 28 points, with 8 points in the final four minutes, to lead the Rockets to a 100–92 win in Los Angeles. Yao Ming own a house in Houston with 12,000 square feet of living space. He is also the tallest known player in NBA. [126] Yao's final averages were 25.3 points, the most in the tournament, and 9.0 rebounds a game, which was fourth overall. He would have been eligible for induction as early as 2012, but Yao felt it was too soon and requested that the Hall of Fame delay consideration of the nomination. [103] However, follow-up analysis indicated that the injury could be career threatening. [50], The next season, Yao played 77 games, his first full season since the 2004–05 season, and averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds, while shooting 54.8% from the field, and a career-high 86.6% from the free throw line.

Yao has filmed a number of public service announcements for elephant and rhino conservation for the "Say No" campaign with partners African Wildlife Foundation and WildAid. He could play inside, he could play outside, and if he didn't have those injuries he could've been up there in the top five centers to ever play the game.

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