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4x NBA champ cannot guard, 7′ Shaquille O’Neal let alone 7’5″ Yao Ming says Road Trippin podcast hosts

Arun Sharma
|Thu Aug 11 2022

Yao Ming is a player with legendary status – revered in the basketball circuit and is also a famous meme. 

Draymond Green publicly accepted he cannot guard Shaquille O’Neal – he would not be able to guard Yao Ming either. The big man from China is a foot taller than the Golden State man – what is he going to do to stop a guy like that? Richard Jefferson pointed out the obvious places a team has to compromise to stop this one-man tank.

7ft 6′ Yao Ming would be MVP in the modern era says Cleveland Cavaliers champ

Jefferson was right in pointing out that if he did play today, the small ball lineup would not work against him. Teams would have to lose depth in the perimeter area to guard him, and that would mean he could kick the ball out for an open look. Imagine a big man leading a team in assists – that would be fun!

In his prime, Yao was averaging 25 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. All this while playing for a Rockets team that was not built for success. When Yao joined, the team was virtually a tank job. But after watching his inspirational performances, they brought in Tracy McGrady and an old Dikembe Mutombo as well.

Yao was the Rockets version of Shaq – a center so dominant, that nobody from this era would be able to guard him.

Also Read: “The first time I realised Yao Ming could ball was his match against Shaquille O’Neal”: Former NBA Champ reveals the exact moment he figured the Rockets legend was a “tremendous talent”


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Yao Ming had the best career of any Asian-born player – although Jeremy Lin is officially the most successful one

Richard Jefferson believes that the Houston Rockets big man from China would be an MVP in the league today. The gargantuan 7’6 man nicknamed “The Great Wall” was exactly that. He may not have had the long career one would have hoped he had but impacted more than he possibly could. He single-handedly popularized the game in the most populous country in the world.

The Dynasty brought in a set of viewers that now are the reason why the NBA is the most watched in China. He may not have had the team success he would have hoped for, but Yao Ming was an inspiration to many. And surely to Jeremy Lin, because even though he had a math scholarship from Harvard, he chose to play basketball.

Even with two heavy-hitters on the roster, Yao made co-captain and held his own. He was a walking highlight reel and terrorized the league with his height. A man of his stature should not be able to move so swiftly, but he had the feet of a ballet dancer. With his height, it was easy to play at the post, because nobody could stop him.

Also Read: “Yao Ming was stupefied at the sight of Michael Jordan”: Rockets legend recalls a hilarious incident when he forgot how to shoot at MJ’s basketball camp

About the author
Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Jack of all sports, master of none. But still, better than master of one. Except NFL. And MLB. And Fencing.

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