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<  Yao off the court; Yao's personality  ~  McGrady on Yao

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:06 am
Posts: 4804Location: NJ/NY Metro AreaJoined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:07 pm ... -nba-court

"When I got traded to the Houston Rockets in 2004 I really didn't know Yao Ming. He'd been in the league a few years, we'd both been to the All-Star Game and we played against each other a few times, but I had never talked to him.

I didn't think he could speak any English and I was worried about that. I thought: "How is this going to work?"

I had just won the last two scoring titles with the Orlando Magic, but I was so excited to be playing with a great big man that I knew I was going to have to work with him and feed him the ball. But to do that, we needed communication.

How would I talk to him on the court? Would I have to look over at an interpreter on the bench every time we needed to say something to each other? I was thinking maybe we'd have earpieces or something.

When I finally met him, I realized two things: he does speak English and not only does he speak it, he has an amazing sense of humor.

I loved seeing his personality come out more and more over the years as he got more comfortable in Houston. That's how I really learned what an amazing person he is. He will sometimes just pretend he doesn't speak English -- he does that even to this day!

I remember when he came to my wedding reception in 2006. My family and friends were so excited and they all wanted to take pictures and get autographs, and he pretended he couldn't understand them. I just had to sit back and laugh."

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