The entire Asian region gave out a collective sigh of defeat when the news of Yao Ming's injury came out this morning. Is everyone in Asia Houston Rockets fans or something? No. But there is more than a BILLION Yao Ming fans in China who were getting very excited about their hero taking on America's Late Show the LA Lakers. When Yao pushed back trainers in game one and forced his way back onto the court to finish the game, scoring 6 of Houston's last 10 point, everyone began to believe this 7 foot 6 giant could bring down the giant Lakers franchise. Now, all over the Asian region, people are putting away their Rocket's banners and shirts for another year. It was obvious in game 3 that Yao was not himself and was not going to be able to finish the series. Without Yao or even a true backup center, Houston is finished.
Yao Ming is the WORLDS most popular player. You can argue all you want to about James or Bryant, but these two are the best players but far from the most popular. Kobe was cleared of a rape case a few years back that tarnished his very clean image until that point. No one believed he raped the gold digger he slept with, but does it really matter to his wife? And despite James having no serious drama so far, he also has no serious personality to back up his amazing talent.
Yao is a proud warrior on the floor. He is not the most talented, but he is one of the most amazing players in the NBA. He works hard and keeps his head up. Can you imagine being Yao and having a billion people watching, listening, and talking about you. In the US he is probably the most recognizable player anywhere he goes. In China he is an icon. Did they even have basketball rims in the nation before he arrived?
So it is a sad day for the NBA, Asia, and of course for YAO. Let's hope he can recover and return next year.