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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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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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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NBA news

Yao Ming bio

Houston Rockets profile

Houston Rockets history

Houston Rockets roster

Houston Rockets team stats

Houston Rockets’ owner Leslie Alexander added info on the team owner

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale

Houston Rockets player salaries

You Want An NBA Storyline …………………… ?

You Want An NBA Storyline …. ?

It’s been something of an anticlimax to the say the least as the NBA season has got off to a rather inauspicious start. The Miami Heat of late has been the storyline that everyone wants to follow as the ‘Big Three’ have become the talk of the town . LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have made the Heat relevant once again. That being said to my mind the story that has me wondering how asking what else can befall a team has been that of the Houston Rockets . It’s hard to comprehend the misfortune that has beset this team as having lost All Star center Yao Ming for the season to a recurring injury . While much of this has been happening the one constant to this all has been the play of Kevin Martin and the fact that without him the Rockets would simply just another byline to the NBA season.

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The troubling here there though has been the fact Yao hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year and the danger is that his career now seems to be on the verge of being at end. Barring a miracle I seriously doubt that we’ll see this player back on a basketball court in a competitive NBA game. Say what you will but Yao Ming had his admirers as well as his detractors . At his peak, he was certainly one of the most admired but also one of the best centers in the game but herein lies the caveat to this all once injiries started to befall the player , you simply knew that it was only a matter of time before things would go south for both he and the organization . What now happens for the Rockets is now merely dependent upon the players and their desire play the remainder of the season with the zeal one would come to expect of a team looking for some type of redemption. If nothing else they owe it to themselves and their fans.

The NBA Western Conference has now become awash of the unexpected and as the plot thickens the idiocy surrounds the sudden lull in the play of the Los Angeles Lakers . Don’t be fooled by anything you’ve heard or read at this point of the season teams will have their ups and downs and it’s how they respond that will define them. The Lakers have rebounded back and Kobe Bryant and his teammates seem to now back in the driver’s seat and their resolve will be to play the games as they come and then in the postseason show the NBA world why it is they’re the reigning NBA champions . If nothing else you simply have to respect that pedigree and until they’re toppled off the pile then due respect has to be given .

The Lakers’ neighbors within the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers and their sudden recognition around the league. No one person is more responsible for this other than Blake Griffin and his play through much of the season so far . In the same way that Dominique Wilkins came to be known as the “Human Highlight Reel” , Griffin has single handedly made that nom-de-plume his very own this season with his spectacular dunks. Unfortunately for the Clippers and their fans this hasn’t resulted in that many wins and at the same the Clippers still remain the same old Clippers. I’ve often maintained that when an organization simply lacks the will and ambition to win then whatever befalls that team is simply one of its own making. Is there now a more despised owner in professional sports than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling ? OK, so we could add the Redskins’ Daniel Snyder , Pittsburgh Pirates Bob Nutting and last but not least Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

I understand that the business of sports is primarily about making money and any bye product sought is to win championships but what can be said as to morass that continually extends and surrounds the Los Angeles Clippers ? Someone needs to explain to me at what point will their fans simply say enough is enough ………? It’s apparent that NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy isn’t overly concerned as to the mediocre plight of the Clippers under the tenure of Donald Sterling. But then again simply but as long as the league is reaping the vast rewards of the billions of dollars that unyieldingly comes into its coffers he’s not going to be concerned. For Stern the storyline here is that of the attention gained by the likes of the Heat , Boston Celtics and Lakers . If they’re being repeatedly on by the press then Sterling’s concerns aren’t that great but then again this is the same individual who last season issued the statement that the $250 million paid to a number of teams should not be viewed as a bailout because of those teams’ financial plight due to the economic climate. Kind of makes you wonder what perception the commissioner is trying to create with that rather asinine statement ?

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Clueless in Phoenix as that appears to be the situation with the Phoenix Suns at present under Alvin Gentry as the Suns’ coach. Ever since their most recent trades with the team acquiring Vince Carter and a number of other players which in turn sent Jason Richardson to the Orlando Magic . This team can’t find a win much less play a lick of defense and statistically they rank in the bottom half of the league with that rather dubious distinction. And now with rumors circling that the franchise may well be willing to offload Steve Nash with a view as building for the future , the question being asked is where they go from here ?

With the competitiveness of the Western Conference where week in week out it’s something of a dog fight one could say that last season’s Western Conference finalist’s this season appears to be something of a regression back to the ways of old. In all likelihood if Gentry is unable to have the Suns playing with any semblance of a will to win then team owner Robert Sarver will look to bring in a coach who can take the team back to the heights and expectations that he feels befits the organization .

There’s reason at present for noted film director Spike Lee and avowed basketball fan to be happy as his New York Knicks are once again relevant . Coach Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff has the team playing with a great deal of resolve within the NBA. Amar’e Stoudemire , Raymond Felton , Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler have been playing at a pace that not many may well have expected. And those in attendance at Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks’ home games have to be more than pleasantly surprised but also extremely excited.

With what we’re now seeing within the Eastern Conference there’s no reason to believe that the Knicks cannot play themselves into contention within the conference and garner their first playoff berth in almost a decade. At their current pace the Knicks are on target to win 47 games, albeit that a sub .500 record or slightly above can garner a playoff spot within the conference. If that’s not enough of an indictment as to how bad the conference can be, then simply look over the past seasons and the records of the teams that have prevailed within the conference in garnering a postseason berth ? It hasn’t been uncommon for the teams ranked four through eight to have a record barely above .500 (41-41). It remains to be seen if this season we can see a vast improvement of the teams in the lower half of the seedings within the conference and how they may well fare. If nothing else the remainder of this season will be proof of that and what we ought to expect from some of those teams within the conference.

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

Should the Knicks make the playoffs there’s a distinct possibility that Mike D’Antoni could very well be in with a chance of winning the NBA’s Coach of The Year Award . Given what he’s been able to achieve in assessing and building this team with the help of President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh this has been a season of redemption for the Knicks and their long suffering fans . One can only hope that barring injuries they can remain on course of achieving their goals .

Chime in with your comments as to your thoughts on the NBA season and any of the topics raised within this piece .

NB: NBA Conference Standings ..

Latest NBA news …..

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NBA Divisional Standings ….

NBA Statistics ….

NBA win streaks by conference and division

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Faran W

Eye candy ……………. Faren Williams

More of Faren….. as you know doubt like it ?

Faren

That’s a body worth watching from any view ! Faren’s that is !

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Lupe Fiasco feat’g …… Matthew Santos …….. ” Superstar”

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