A Welcoming Face To The NBA Now Soon To Be Missed ……………..

A Welcoming Face To The NBA Now Soon To Be Missed ……………..

With the formal retirement of Yao Ming from the NBA and the Houston Rockets an organization that the player represented proudly . I have always felt that were it not for the recurring injuries suffered over the latter stages of his career the player would have put up prolific numbers . Alas it was not to be and I feel with his departure the fans were deprived of something truly special ! Drafted number one overall in the 2002 NBA Draft the player would become a multiple All Star during his time with the Houston Rockets .

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It was often felt that team owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey never truly sought to surround the player with the talent needed to be competitive at the highest echelons of the game . Certainly with the team failing to make the 2011 NBA playoffs this past season it was clear for everyone to see that the organization would be heading in a new direction. And with the mere fact that the Houston Rockets within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference looked so out of lock with the rest of the teams within the division and conference at large.

With there now being an initiative slowly being proposed to have a special dispensation that would allow Yao Ming to forgo the five year criteria after retirement that would allow the player immediate enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame . The main proponents of this have been a group of Chinese reporters who cover the NBA not only in the country but across the Asian Pacific peninsular . There’s no denying that the player has served the game well as an ambassador and has contributed greatly to the popularity of the sport in his native China . In lieu of the Beijing Olympics when team USA with its litany of NBA stars won gold , it has to be said that beyond the marquee players on that roster perhaps no other player was more beloved and respected than Yao Ming.

Courtesy of USA Today

Yao Ming nominated for Naismith Hall of Fame as contributor

HOUSTON (AP) — Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming could enter the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as early as next year — not as a player, but as a contributor to the game.

John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, said Tuesday that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players.

The 7-foot-6 Yao retired in July after leg and foot injuries ended his eight-year NBA career. The eight-time All-Star averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in the NBA.

He’ll also be remembered for his global impact on the league, almost single-handedly expanded its reach throughout Asia.

PHOTOS: Yao Ming in pictures

Doleva said a panel of seven “experts on the international game” will consider Yao’s credentials, and six of the seven will have to approve Yao’s election. The panel is only allowed to select one individual, and Doleva said Yao will be facing about 12-15 other candidates for induction next year.

The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1. Doleva says a member of the Chinese media contacted him to ask about the categories available for individuals, and submitted a formal application this week on Yao’s behalf.

“It has to go through the process,” Doleva said. “There is no guarantee when someone is nominated that they will be elected in their first year. That’s kind of what makes the process work. The committee takes a look at the pros and cons.”

Yao can certainly make a compelling argument.

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Now there’s bound to be some controversy brought about with the possible enshrinement Yao Ming to the Basketball Hall of Fame but it has to be said that you cannot ignore the contributions of the player not only as a player but also in terms of humanitarian and philanthropic efforts and he should be commended for that all . Should this proposal be accepted by the committee and board members of Naismith Hall of Fame then I do believe that it will be something that the fans of the NBA will be appreciative of !

As the immediate future of the Houston Rockets it is extremely difficult to see where the organization goes from here . The team’s best player Kevin Martin has been the leader that they need but beyond the team’s leading scorer but beyond Luis Scola and Kyle Lowrie there’s little to suggest this team is capable of mounting a serious challenge to be thought of as a legitimate contender for an NBA title .

With the NBA lockout still in place and a number of players still opting for the idea of playing abroad . A great deal has been made as to how this will affect the teams should there not be a regular season for the upcoming year. For the Houston Rockets there biggest concern will what they are or will be able to do in the aftermath of losing Yao Ming. There seems to be discontent amongst the fans and great concern as to whether or not they will be able to retain Kevin Martin should the season resume as scheduled . Daryl Morey even with the moves made by the organization did not build anything amounting to what one would perceive to be a championship caliber team . Instead he has sought to build through the draft adding pieces he believes alongside the integral piece of Kevin Martin and an assortment of veterans as the Rockets apparently look to the future .

The long held feeling amongst the fans is that as the lockout remains enforced with neither side seemingly clear as to reaching an amicable accord the fans will be left in bewilderment as to the lack of traction in the deliberations between the league hierarchy and the NBPA (union). Certainly with there being no communique between the coaches and players as to their off-season regimen there is not much that can be added to the current spectacle on display.

And though there’s a young nucleus to the roster of the Houston Rockets , without that major veteran presence the team will sruggle . With the hiring of NBA great Kevin McHale as the team’s coach and an assistant staff led by Darryl Eto and Jason Biles we could see some semblance of commitment and competitiveness from this team should there be an upcoming season.

What cannot be denied as the Houston Rockets look to the future is that the organization has been fortuitous with the personnel decisions made by Daryl Morey in terms of the draft choices made . Some of which have panned out , while others have not . The pressing need for the team will be how best to recover from the loss of Yao Ming not only from a competitive standpoint but also what he brought to the organization from a commercial and economically as well. Some teams can withstand the loss of a major presence but I doubt that few can actually match what the loss this player will actually mean to the Houston Rockets and the NBA in particular . His popularity wasn’t simply amongst the NBA fans itself but on a global scale his was the face that gave the game a real presence around the world . And in a country where the population of 1.3 billion , Yao Ming’s face was recognizable to all and it has never waned .

It will now be up to the likes of Kevin Martin , Luis Scola , Kyle Lowry , Chase Budinger , Jonny Flynn , Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee to prove that they are capable of taking this organization to new heights in the future . And we may well see what Kevin McHale is actually capable of achieving as a coach as he looks to impart his knowledge to this team. Hopefully , it will be of great benefit to the players as they move forward looking to acquit themselves favorably in the eyes of the Houston Rockets’ fans .

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By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

With the retirement of Yao Ming from the NBA do you believe that he’s a worthy candidate for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame ? Or do you believe that his inclusion as such will make something of a mockery as to what one might consider appropriate in terms of the permitted criteria for his inclusion ? Do bear in mind however that the Hall is not simply about the contribution merely on the court but what is achieved by the the inductee in popularizing the game away from the court . Feel free to leave a comment as to your thoughts on the subject matter in question .

Alan aka tophatal …… https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal at … rapptu@gmail.com or via

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(1) In this photo from August 2010 , Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, right, of China talks with a reporter after a basketball workout in Houston. Yao underwent a medical evaluation Monday which revealed a hairline fracture in his right foot . AP Photo/ David J. Phillip …..

(2) FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2010 file photo, Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming, left, of China shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets’ Nene (31) of Brazil, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Houston. John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame , said Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media as a contributor to the game and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File ……….

(3) Basket-CHN-Yao,FEATURE, by D’Arcy Doran ____ Chinese basketball player and NBA superstar Yao Ming speaks during a press conference in Shanghai on July 20, 2011. The search is on to fill Yao Ming’s size-18 sneakers after China’s biggest sports luminary announced his retirement, and Chinese scouts are combing city courts and pre-schools for a future star. AFP PHOTO /Getty Images / PHILIPPE LOPEZ ….

(4) Chinese basketball player and NBA superstar Yao Ming (R) and his wife Ye Li hold their daughter Amy during a press conference in Shanghai on July 20, 2011. The 2.29-metre (7ft 6in) Yao, the first Asian superstar of the National Basketball Association, announced his retirement after a trail-blazing career that made him China’s best-known athlete abroad and helped spur the game’s global growth. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZ /Getty Images …..

(5) US basketball star Kobe Bryant (R) is challenged by a college student during a friendly game in Manila on July 13, 2011. Bryant, who was in Manila for promotional work while meeting with poor local children and players, hailed fellow NBA superstar Yao Ming for the Chinese giant's contribution to basketball amid reports the Houston Rockets centre would soon retire. AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO/Getty Images …..

(6) NEWARK, NJ – JUNE 23: Marcus Morris from the Kansas Jayhawks greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected 14 overall by the Houston Rockets during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images/ Mike Stobe …….. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(7) Kevin Martin (12) of the Houston Rockets reaches to control the ball in front of Eric Gordon (10) of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images North America / Stephen Dunn ….

(8) Luis Scola (4) of the Houston Rockets celebrates after making a basket late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Rockets won 97-92 . Getty Images/ Stephen Dunn ……

(9) Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey is seen here alongside Luis Scola . Getty Images / Rob Hughes …..

(10) Houston Rockets new basketball head coach Kevin McHale, left, answers questions as team owner Leslie Alexander looks on during an introductory NBA basketball news conference, Friday, June 3, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan ….
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