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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yao deserves better...

Saw this item this morning on the wires and in USA Today:

Chinese sports association rips Yao for reporting late
From wire reports
China's official sports association has issued an unprecedented public criticism of Yao Ming for reporting late to national team training.

The Houston Rockets' star was faulted for taking too much time off to recover from his last NBA season. The government's All-China Sports Federation also said he spent too much time planning his wedding and making appearances for the Special Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"No matter how lofty public welfare activities are, they can't be allowed to take first place in a player's life," the China Sports Daily, a federation-owned newspaper, said in an article Tuesday. "No matter how sweet personal life is, it can't be compared to the exultation of capturing glory for one's nation," the article said.

Chinese websites later said Yao reported for national team training Wednesday.

I truly believe that Yao deserves so much better than this type of slap. He has done more than his share for the national team effort since he burst onto the global scene in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics. He has performed countless public service efforts, including speaking out on HIV/AIDS awareness with Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Yao stood up to fight against the SARS crisis by staging an unprecedented telethon to help educate the youngsters against the deadly virus and helping control its spread.

Yao recently appeared at the Basketball without Borders program on behalf of the NBA and conducted clinics for Special Olympians, a truely wonderful cause. Yao is an example of the very best the NBA and China has to offer. He should be praised for his participation with the National team.

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