Yao Ming Interview
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming at age 23 is quickly
becoming one of the NBA's top centers. InsideHoops.com met with Yao in the Continental
Airlines Arena in New Jersey for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: What kind of things has Rockets
assistant Patrick Ewing taught you? I saw you two talking on court before the
game and it looked like he was teaching you some stuff.
Yao Ming: He was talking about issues that arise from being a center.
InsideHoops.com: How's your relationship with Ewing?
Yao Ming: I just feel like he's a fun person.
InsideHoops.com: What are the main changes taking place under new coach
Jeff Van Gundy that affect how you're playing?
Yao Ming: I don't feel that it's had an effect on my personal game.
InsideHoops.com: What did you do this summer, both on the court as well
Yao Ming: After the season I stayed at home and rested for a month. I ate all the great things that I like to eat at home that I couldn't get here. And, in terms of basketball, I worked a lot on my strength and conditioning. In practice, I tried to work on how to use my strength.
InsideHoops.com: You're a great passer for a center. For anyone. How did you get so good at it?
Yao Ming: That arose from when I was playing in (China). As I got better and better, there were a lot of double teams, and I drew a lot of defenders, so I had to learn how to pass the ball, and get it off to my teammates, because the more people that came to defend me, that means there are more openings for other players.
InsideHoops.com: How does it feel knowing that you are one of the only potentially elite centers in the entire NBA right now?
Yao Ming: It's something that I don't think about a lot. I'm only 23 years old. And I regret the fact that I didn't get to play with a lot of those great centers, like Hakeem, and our coach (Patrick Ewing). Of course, I get to play against Shaq now, which is a great honor to play against such a great player. But to play against those kinds of centers is an honor.