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Yao Ming: The Next Asian Superstar?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:50:30 PM)

he sweetest moment for Asian men in American sports came on June 26, 2002 at Madison Square Garden. The Houston Rockets had just spent their number one overall draft pick on 7-5 Chinese center Yao Ming over 6-2 Duke guard Jay Williams. The largely black crowd of draft prospects and their contingents booed. They had reason to be displeased. For the past quarter century black athletes had dominated pro basketball and they saw Yao as a subversive force, an alien threat. Even Charles Barkley -- Yao's basketball idol -- sniped at Houston's choice and hinted at bad consequences.
Yao Ming
David or Goliath?

     What's wrong with this picture?
     In the global sports scene blacks have come to represent all-around athletic prowess. Asian athletes, on the other hand, have been painted as disciplined and skilled but lacking power and size, able to excel only in sports no one cares about. For an Asian to get the top pick in a black-dominated sport was heresy.
     To appreciate what Yao represents to Asian American men requires a quick trip down memory lane. And we do mean quick. The lane is short and sparsely populated.
     In the beginning there was Sammy Lee, the first Asian American to win Olympic gold. He did it with 10-meter platform diving at the 1948 London games and again in 1952 at the Helsinki games. Not exactly a marquee sport, but inspiring nevertheless at a time when Asian Americans hardly knew what to call themselves.
     Then came Michael Chang whose 1989 French Open championship has passed into tennis legend. Cramping and down two sets to Ivan Lendl in the round of 16, the 17-year-old phenom dared to discombobulate the Ice Man with moonballs and an underhanded serve. The ploy worked. The proof that Chang's nerves and speed were real came in the classic 5-set finals victory against Stefan Edberg. But Chang's recent ignomious descent into tennis twilight raises the suspicion that he simply lacks the size and power to stay in the power game.
     It wasn't until Hideo Nomo joined the Dodgers in 1995 that an Asian athlete was able to inspire sustained frenzy in one of the big-three sports. Nomo's martian windup and delivery proved so effective that he set Dodgers strikeout records, made the All-Stars and inspired Nomomania.
     By 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki joined the Mariners, Asian imports taking Rookie of the Year honors had practically become a Major League tradition. But none had done it with Ichiro's flair or sunglasses. It wasn't enough that he led the game in hitting and basestealing, he seemed determined to make it look easy. Sex appeal had finally come to the image of the Asian male athlete.
     But the image still lacked something in many AA minds. Sure, for a leadoff hitter Ichiro hit his share of home runs, but he was known for speed and finesse, not power. Having chafed so long under stereotypes denying them size and strength, AA men longed for a star who could knock those assumptions back into the last millennium.
     Eyes turned longingly to football as the obvious arena for the ultimate stereotype smasher -- and saw only Dat Nguyen of the Dallas Cowboys. As a promising linebacker, Nguyen doesn't enjoy the cache of a star offensive back. And at 5-11 and 240 pounds, Nguyen isn't exactly in the 99th percentile in terms of size and power among football players.
     Asian American eyes were drawn to basketball by a trio of giants known collectively as "The Great Wall". They were very big for the Chinese national team. First to make his NBA debut was Wang Zhizhi (7-1, 220 pounds) in April 2001. As a center for the Dallas Mavericks he has averaged 5.5 points per 10.6 minutes of playing time per game. A respectable stat for any rookie but disappointing for those who had hoped for an instant Asian star. Then came Mengke Bateer (6-11, 290 pounds) in February of 2002. Despite 15.1 minutes of play per game as a center for the Denver Nuggets, he too disappointed some with an average 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.
     Enter the Dragon. At a height variously described as 7-5 or 7-6, Yao Ming, 22, is at once the tallest and youngest of the trio. In the past two years his weight shot up from 255 to 295 pound -- and he's still growing. His gifts extend beyond size, however. He moves a foot shorter. Born to a pair of former stars for the Chinese national teams, his court instincts and skills are practically dyed-in-the-wool.
     And yet Yao isn't a lock to defy the darker prognostications of his prospects as a Rocket. He was regularly outplayed by Wang Zhizhi when both were playing in China. Even with Yao, Wang and Mengke, the Chinese national team routinely lost to second-tier powers like France and Lithuania. Yao has never gone up against the likes of Shaquille O'Neal. The adjustment to life in the U.S. will be long and difficult. In short, Yao Ming is ideally positioned to become the biggest disappointment in the history of Asians in American sports.
     Is Yao Ming the next Asian superstar? Or is he more likely to reinforce the image of Asian men as also-rans in power sports?

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WHAT YOU SAY

[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
"Yes, blacks in america in general are taller than blacks in afica, slightly due to malnutrition, however, if you fed those africans the same things you fed black americans, there would be no difference. If you fed people in Asia what Black Americans ate, believe me, there would still be a very big physical difference."

- That is your personal opinion.

"BTW, the dinka tribe in southern sudan, despite all their famines and malnutrition are the tallest people in the world ( the average male in that tribe is 6'4"). In other words blacks the world over are genetically similar. As are Asians."

- Yes, and some of the shortest people on Earth are also located in Africa. I believe it is a tribe of inherently (not starved or malnourished) short people.

"Like it's been mentioned before and stated in STUDY AFTER STUDY by biologists and scientists the world over, although delusional Asians like you seem to have a hard time understaning, The physical differences amongst the races have more to do with thousands of years of evolution than current diet. Blacks in America eat no better than Whites, however, you yourself can see that Blacks in general are taller and much more physically developed."

- Cite your studies. I find this interesting since I hear this a lot but find contrary evidence in actual scientific surveys. For instance, the NHANES III was a comprehensive survey of the American population during years 1988-1994. It's statistics are summarized at the following website:

http://www.halls.md/chart/height-weight.htm

Black males in the U.S. are on average slightly shorter than white males. But I suppose we should stick to our perception of what is, even if it is unduly influenced by watching American sports on TV, reasoning from stereotypes, being holed up in surburbs away from the ghetto, and all in all making invisible the actual blacks we meet in day-to-day life (if we meet any at all).
Science vs Opinion
   Friday, January 24, 2003 at 02:04:46 (PST)    [24.24.146.91]
Did anyone see on CNN on Talkback Live they did a show on Shaq's racist comment on Yao and even had Charles Barkley defending Shaq!

I only caught the last ten minutes of the show and missed it but the majority of the audience was angry about Shaq's comment and there was a Asian spokesperson to comment as well.

Another reason why the Blacks in America are so tall is to think logically when the slaves traders got them over to the New world-America do you think they only bring in the weak and feeble? No, they brought over bigger and stronger blacks over to tend the cotton and haul the hay. If you look at modern Africans many are average to smaller height so it can be assumed that after many generations of black slaves decendants living here are going to be bigger and taller than their African counterparts.
Two Cents
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 22:49:58 (PST)    [209.245.8.8]
-------got his ball swatted by some guy that's only 6'11--------

Yup, but Shaq can't do it because Shaq is a loser and he sucks. They made a mistake in giving him the MVP. He should get a PPE instead, which stands for "poorest player Ever".
PPE
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 21:38:22 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
Macaroni [north korea],
DaveeMan [Sadam Hussien],
Where is Yao [Bin Laden],
Your wrong [Iraq],
post intel commts aka, the Comments dork, [al kata]

These people resemble the "Axis of Evil" because they have common ground, so here is my speacial speech for them.

Yao will start the NBA in the western conference as a center. He has over a million votes from all over the world. A quarter of million people voted Yao over Shaq. And the reason why is because;

Yao got skill, Shaq don't.

Yao got height, Shaq don't.

Yao got speed, Shaq don't.

Yao can blocked, Shaq can't.

Yao got free throw, Shaq don't.

Yao got fade away, Shaq don't.

Yao got jumper, Shaq don't because he can't jump.

Bin Laden Yao did not hide in caves, unlike you.
Martin King Jr
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 21:32:54 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
--------You yourself even just said referred to >>>>calories<<<<<< in that statement and not nutrition. So what's your point?-------

Bafu, that was me NOIEA that posted that.
NOIEA
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 21:15:06 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
ddmonkey,

To really built up and gain more weight is not really that hard. You'll just need to eat a lot of food, milk is one. I remember the day back in high school, guys built up by going to the gym. It's with everyone, blacks, whites, asian and hispanic. To be muscular they work out. I've seen skinny black people get big by working out, not something they born with.

Nutrition helps a lot. Have milk shake, protein, and the stuff body builders take to gain weight and built muscle.

I advise Yao to take what body builder takes.
puncher the counterMan
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:48:43 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
Each race has many attributes. For instance some races are more susceptible to prostate cancer and multi sclorosis while the others are not likely to get neither.

Genetically, we are 99.9% the same, according to studes. Only .1% of our genomes attain our skin tones, height, and attitudes.

Each race has gifts and weakness.

Why are East Asians the best divers and swimmers?
Why are West Africans the best sprinters and long distance runners while the east Africans are not as good?

Why are Caucasians the best weight lifters?

Why do more Asians finish school?
Could it be discipline or genetics?

I have photograghic memory like my father and I hate it; it's hard to think because I see pictures in my head all the time, which could explain why as a young man in high school I never had to put much effort in my studies concerning picturial things such as pictures in a book. I remember everybody I met in my life. And when I say that I've seen you before, I have seen you before in the most outmost extent. I also have the writing skill of my mother. I am just discombobulated.
I am a person filled with laxity in English and do the work late, but still manage to keep my straight A's. My teachers tell me that my mind is different. I hate it...

I think this is true to other races too.
Everyone is unique.
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:24:44 (PST)    [131.216.58.119]
----The bad news: Yao's offense has been absolutely anemic this month (only averaging 10.6 and 8.8 while shooting 38.8%).-------

Hey dumbo, it's not 38.8 as you said. It's 40% to be about exact.

But so far this month, Yao has made just 40 percent of his shots, averaging 10.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, by article.

And the reason might be that he travel too much doing commericals. And having no rest at all. A lot of media and camera men are all around him. Also know that he hasn't stopped playing all this year.
dumbo
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:18:55 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
Post intelligent comments:

Seriously, you should read the above carfully.(Ironic!)..Not all Koreans have Northern Asian blood...and even a lot of Nordic and blacks are short too. I guess you've never been to China (not speaking of Gianzhou, hong Kong...). think before spewing out ignorant stuff.

Your post smacks of insecurity and fear (that we asians will raise above balcks in the unique department Blacks have been dominating).
you are ignorant
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:18:44 (PST)    [61.11.245.7]
You are wrong,
where was yao??
MrMacaroni
Weak Dave,

All I can say to yall dumb heads is Yao is gonna start in the All-star game. He has a lot more votes then Shaq, he has over a million.

And Yao and shaq's game was 2nd biggest hit, reaching to more than 3.3 million homes. The reason is because of Yao, he is popular. If Yao ain't there, it wouldn't be 3.3 million. Thanks to Yao.
Kaazee
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:09:12 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
Post intelligent comments.

Say what you want.

Adopted kids inherit their biological parents genes and those parents did not develop and never passed on tall genes.
Tall parents= tall babies.

You mention yourself about the Dinka tribe.

As I recall, that's where Manute Bol comes from, a 7'7 player who spent eleven years in the NBA.

Yes, they grow tall. I know that. You're not the only one who's heard of them.

As I recall, some of these African tribes marry their own siblings. And that can be argued, thus they develop some deformities like a small percentage being born with 12 toes instead of 10 and those short genes never passed around. Some never intermarried. To some, it is their tribal law.

Not to say that alot of African tribes do not intermarry. Those that do have been affiliated with another for thousands of years. Some get together to keep peace as well.

Once again, your views are contradictory.

I am not necessarily pointing out diets.

Scandinavians do eat alot of Fish and meat. Together they work together.
Scandinavian countries are usually located where cold water and warm water meets, thus it makes a perfect playing ground for comestible fishes.


If Asians and Whites were all so genetically challenged, then how do you explain that some do reach tall heights. Why are there short black people as well. If that was the case, those Northern Asians could never reach 7 feet; their bones would not be able to support their height. These are all healthy guys as well. How would you explain that their height potential has gone from that to 8 feet?
They are encouraged, but not reinforced to marry a tall woman. And partly because they are fed better.

If Asians did not have that potential, all of them would be short. But some do grow tall, which brings about the height potential thing.

From the generations of Kareem Abdul Jabber, you'd think that we'd be seeing Black 8 footers by now in the NBA. And that is not the case(The Average NBA center is about 6'11). The closest of 8 footers the NBA is going to get are those well-nurtured 7 foot teenagers in the Isolated parts of Northern Asia.

As mentioned, Isolation does help. Tall parents equals tall children. And most Northern Asians only marry North Asians as well. AS with the tribal thing with the Dinkas you mentioned.

I am not questioning our differences, but rather collating are similarities.
We are 99% identical in genetics to be exact. This is the reason why racists got so angry about.

It is a common thing that the 2nd generation of Asians are taller than the previous ones.

How do you explain the sudden dramatic growth of Asian-Americans within the last generation?

However, if those Korean Kids got married with Asian-Americans of the new generations, they are significantly taller, you fool. The adopted Korean kids that you mentioned would only be the first generation.

However, due to the small percentage of Asian-Americans(about 4% of the entire U.S. population), interracial relationships are likely to happen, thus that chain are arguably broken.

However, in Northern-Asian countries like Mongolia and uppermost China, that chain is unlikely to break.

If we were all that different there wouldn't be any half breeds in the world and that wouldn't be possible.

BTW, when I say you fool, I mean that in a slightly polite manner. This is a discussion and you can disagree or agree, which is why this forum is so much fun. You have your POV based on your readings and I have my opposing views based on my readings.

Another thing with the Scandinavians.
Not many of them marry other Europeans which is why they have managed to keep those tall genes. And why they have kept that typical blond hair blue eyes traits.

Tall parents equals tall children no matter what race they are and no matter how hungry they are.

In all likelihood, please be informed that tall parents= tall children.

I wish you luck in all of your endeavors.

Do not be surprised if I do not respond to another one of you challenges; my computer is in a mess and I'm going to get it fixed. Be back as soon as I can.

I like the challenge..
Basketball Man
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 11:40:34 (PST)    [131.216.163.170]
It's both amazing and frustrating how polarized the views are on this message board. Doesn't anyone watch sports objectively these days? Yes, Yao sucked against Dallas on Tuesday. However, he dominated them in November. Yes, Shaq struggled against Yao's defense early last Friday, but he came back strong in the late stages and became unstoppable. If I chose to be as selective as some of these posts were, I could string evidence that Jason Caffey is a premiere power forward and Tracy McGrady belongs in the D-League. C'mon, fellas, be reasonable and look at the big picture!
MrMacross
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 11:22:04 (PST)    [206.31.28.1]
------To write, "If there weren't special treatment for your kind and blacks, there would be none of you in colleges and universities!" is utterly racist.---------

Not exactly racist. This is something he found out from reading articles. You need to learn how to distinguish racism from his own opinion or from facts.
michael jordan
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 10:46:41 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
MrMacroni,

LOL, your the guy who said "you can praise Yao all you want but don't put down his counter part".

This is the dumbest thing I've heard. Maybe that is why your offended with

----you and shaq like,and are, bestial. Yao is skillful.
If there weren't special treatment for your kind and blacks, there would be none of you in colleges and universities!-------[posted by Yao is everywhere's]

by his comment. Well I say to him, not bad have it come around next time.
posted
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 10:43:27 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
IKEA,

Don't forget about Milk. They too gives you better nutrition. It helps built strong bone and muscle. And is an energy drink.

Post Intelligent Comments,

Hey lunatic, so why don't NBA go to the dinka tribe and pick out some talent for the NBA? Opps, maybe cause they too skinny and lack energy for power sports. Or maybe cause they too poor and NBA can't make money there.

Don't forget, the dinka tribe also compete to gain weight by drinking cows milk. The fatter or bigger they are the better man they are. They also use cow as a symbol of wealth. The more cow they have the more wives they have.

Why does NBA's report said that in China there are 200 7 foot at the age of 12-18 but you can't find even 10 here. Maybe NBA like China better because is more clean then Africa, so they go there to find talent.

You obiviously are a man who is jealous to see 7'6 asian in the NBA, admit your fear little boy.
U post intelligent commen
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 09:39:52 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
I think I found yao.

He was sitting on the bench with his head down because he kept on getting dunked on by smaller guys. What's sad for him is that he can't even buy a bucket at the other end. His shot keeps on getting blocked. Either that, or he's just totally bricking and missing the rim. Even his 2 guards have no confidence in yao. They would rather shoot half court shots than see yao ming attempt and missed a layup, which is understandable. They probably thought that they, at least, had a better chance from the outside. ming has trouble getting his shots over guys that are 7-8 inches shorter than him. ming is not tall enough. He needs to be at least 8'3" to be able to shoot over Raef Lafrentz.

So where is yao, and what is he doing these days? Well, if he's on the court, he's obviously not doing much other than for just standing around. But for the rest of the game, all he's doing drinking gatorade and clapping next to Bostjan Nachbar. hahah
where was yao??
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 09:35:17 (PST)    [63.161.167.211]
where was yao??,

Shouldn't post smack so quickly. Look at the Lakers performance against the Warriors. Can we say L*A*C*K*L*U*S*T*E*R.

Probably too big of a word for you. They Sucked.

Anyways if you're not a fan of Yao. Why are you hanging off his tip so much?
AC Dropout
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 09:32:04 (PST)    [24.136.115.189]
Post Intelligent Comments ,

You're a dumb kid. I agree with "Give it up kid". Because I'm asian and more buff than most of the black men out there. And the reason why so is because of nutrition. I consume a lot of milk and meat.

If you haven't notice people in Africa are the skinnests people in the world. You could see bone's on them. BTW, are you threaten to see Yao Ming being taller then all the black men in basketball. You must have, cause you think that asian can't be buff or something. But i'll tell you that i've seen many skinny black men in my life time. And the one that are built and buff are usually the one that take weight trainning class in High school. All the other are skinny like stick boy.

With weight trainning and food is why they are built. I've seen skinny black kid turn out to be muscular by working out.

It is very rare to see a black men in africa built and muscular because a lot of them are skinny to the bones. But the black men in america are thicker and stronger but also fatter then everyone else. One reason is because of nutrition. Black men are also more prone to getting fat more so than whites, asian and hispanic. And blacks are also the one's to have the highest drop out rate, and commited the most crime in American. STUDY AFTER STUDY by government officials all over the country have shown that this is fact.

-------- BTW, the dinka tribe in southern sudan, despite all their famines and malnutrition are the tallest people in the world ---------

Nope, not the tallest people in the world. They are the tallest tribes in africa, don't lie, tell it like it is. But in another part in africa there is the shortest people in the world. The average men grows to be around 4 feet and women around 3 feet.

-----You yourself even just said referred to >>>>calories<<<<<< in that statement ----------

Dumbo, that was by me. I referred to calories not him. Don't get the post mix up or I'm gonnna have to come after ya. Another dumb loser who said he is a body builder. The only thing you built is a garbage can in the safari. LOL.
What is 3+2?
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 09:26:13 (PST)    [24.239.152.113]
To Post Intelligent Comments-

(Please read this admittedly LONG post)

First off, let me say I know nothing about nutrition/medicine/weightlifting/etc.
What I do know is this, kids in East Asia are growing to be MUCH LARGER than their parents' generation. Not a small minority of kids, but the MAJORITY.
I was born and raised in the U.S. and grew to be a little over 5'7", roughly the same height as my father. Most of the Asian Americans I know, that were raised in the U.S., are roughly in the same range plus or minus 3 inches.

When growing up, I never gave height a second thought, assuming that Asians were simply shorter, on average, due to genetics. I never made sure to drink milk daily, or even regularly, or paid any attention to my diet. I was 120-125lbs. through college. (Now I'm about 145-150lbs. No this is not a sob story, just keep reading.)

I have spent the last few years in East Asia, and what I saw blew me away. This generation of young kids is VERY aware that they can grow to be MUCH larger than their parents and are doing their utmost to do so. They drink a lot of milk on a daily basis and they eat well.

I do not know the SCIENTIFIC explanation, but, trust me, GO on vacation to SEOUL or TOKYO. The young men are TALL, even by western standards. Their father's are 5'4" to 5'8" and they are 5'10" to 6'0. Many are well over 6'. Asians raised in Asia are now, on average, much taller than Asian Amercans.

Instead of throwing out these explanations, (or desperate hopes?), that Asians are destined to remain shorter, (not that there is anything inherently wrong with being smaller), GO and SEE or ASK someone who has been in the region in the last 5 years or so.

After my experience in East Asia, I'm convinced that, for most people, height is largely determined by nutrition and lifestyle. When you are a child, if you are determined to grow and know you can do so, and intake the proper nutrition, you will. I never knew that as a child, nor did most Asian Americans. We only internalized the Western stereotype. I never TRIED to grow, but I will pass on this knowledge to my children.

Do you think scientific theories never need revising? (Though I should say, I don't know enough to judge if the explanations you provided are scientific.)

The average height for a male in the U.S. is only 5'10". 100 years ago, the average height was 5'6-5'7". (Look it up.) Look at a REAL suit of medieval armor in a museum; they were designed for White men barely over 5' and these White men were nobles, the best fed of their time.

Are you honestly implying that White people's average height has not changed over time? Why are you so convinced that Asians' height cannot do so as well?

Michael Jordan is 6'6" and the best basketball player, perhaps the best athlete, of all time. Guess what? Both his parents were under 5'7". (I read this in a magazine, confirm it on the Internet if you do not believe me!!!)

Look at pictures of the fathers and grandfathers of TALL young men, of any race. Most were MUCH SHORTER than their child or grandchild.

I do NOT know the science of nutrition, but I know the REALITY. If you have the courage to challenge your deeply-held beliefs, take a vacation to Korea or Japan. I guarantee you wont think you are so big, or Asians so small, afterwards.

Or simply ASK someone who's been there recently.

Sorry, but those damn pesky Asians are growing to be a big as Whites and bigger now IN EAST ASIA. Oops, there goes another stereotype of White genetic superiority.
d-boy
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 09:08:04 (PST)    [172.165.156.196]

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