George Vescey of the New York Times was there.
One NBA Star and 150 Bridges to Sichuan (NY Times, January 26)
That’s two Vescey columns in three CSB posts that have caught my attention for their excellence. This is a great snapshot of Yao’s relationship with his homeland and his generosity – and a great piece of sports writing as well.
Wow – what a tough time for the Rockets, sitting on a 12-game winning streak going into tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards.
International Herald Tribune
Los Angeles Times
United Press International
A nice feature in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel demonstrates how Yi Jianlian is adjusting to life in the NBA.
A smattering of news from around the China sports world today:
Yi’s exit leaves Chinese hoops floundering (Reuters, via Guardian Unlimited)
Track and Field: What are the Chinese medal prospects for Beijing? (IAAF.org)
China-born Li named top US athletics coach for guiding Lagat (AFP) [Editor's note: Bernard Lagat's double gold medal in the 1500 and 5000 meter races at this year's world championships were astonishing. Lagat called James Li, his coach, a "technical genius" for planning the strategy that allowed Lagat, a naturalized Kenyan-born American, to win two hot, humid, tactical races in the pressure of a world championship event. My personal sports highlight of the year.]
Adidas taps punch-bag art, Muhammad Ali to spread Olympic fever (Bloomberg.com)
China to host convention on sport science, August 1-5, 2008 (Xinhuanet)
Badminton: China on track for Olympics despite poor results – coach (Guardian UK)
Curling (yes, curling)
Chinese curling attracts younger crowd (China Daily)
From ESPN.com – word that Yi Jianlian is the top rookie at this early stage of the NBA season.
Daily Dime: Yi over Durant (ESPN.com)
And back on the home front, the Houston Rockets defeated the 2007 NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs, 89-81, last night. I’m sorry to have missed this one – it sounded like an absolute thrill of a game. Yao Ming scored a season-high 28 points and 13 rebounds, and someone by the name of Bonzi Wells came off the bench and pulled off Houston’s other double-double of the night (14 points, 15 boards). Seriously, though, it’s so great to see Wells fit and happy and playing well after his career looked so far down last year as he sat on the Rockets’ bench all year. He’s going to be a major contributor this year. The Rockets improve to 4-1 on the season – nothing to write home about quite yet, but what a nice start to the year for them.
Box Score: Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs, November 6
Yao, Rockets hand Spurs first loss (Associated Press, via the NBA)
The new and improved Houston Rockets have had a stellar start to the 2007-08 season, but that unbeaten record has to end sometime. That happened last night at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks – an expected result, given Dallas’ fabulous regular-season record last year, but still, a bittersweet result for Rockets watchers who want to see the Adelman Offense tear apart the Southwestern Division. How cruel a basketball fate can it be to be considered the fourth- or fifth-best team in your conference…and the third-best in your division? Dallas and San Antonio cast a very long shadow towards Houston, but with the Rockets’ best start in a decade, you have to believe there are many more good things to come for this team.
Terry and Mavericks send Rockets to 1st loss (New York Times)
Rockets fail their first early-season test (Houston Chronicle)
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix has spent a substantial amount of time with Yi Jianlian since he was drafted for Milwaukee. Yesterday he filed this report on how life is shaping up for Yi in Wisconsin.
Elsewhere on the ‘net, NBA.com presents a Q&A with Yi Jianlian, which features his thoughts on his first NBA start, the pressure he’s under as the new kid in town, and yes, his thoughts on Halloween, a holiday as foreign to China as Yi is to the NBA (at least for now).
And, yes, there was a game last night. The Orlando Magic took apart the Bucks 102-83 in Florida in both teams’ season opener, on the strength of (sigh) former Seattle SuperSonic Rashard Lewis’ 26 points.
What a great game Tuesday night between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Yao had a double-double and Shane Battier, the absolute unsung hero of Houston, made a huge game-winning three-pointer way out of position with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. The Rockets win a road season opener for the first time in a very long time, and looked great running the Adelman Offense as well. Bummer that Kobe trade talk overshadowed so much of the game, but when it was all about basketball, it was beautiful to watch.
Battier seals season-opening win over Lakers (NBA.com – Rockets site)
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