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SuperstarTinsanity880 karma

Dear Mr. Yao, good afternoon,

Thank you for being such a large part of my basketball memories, I’m a huge fan of yours and you had a tremendous impact on me as a 1.5 generation Chinese in the USA. As a post-80 (80后) child I was there when Jordan-mania was at its peak but never became interested in basketball until early 2000s, coincidentally the same period when you were introduced to Americans and then drafted into the NBA. I’ll ask my questions first and then post the sappy stuff in the end so you and Reddit won’t be bored.

We hear a lot about your personality and how beloved you are in and out of the NBA, as well as your humanitarian efforts. On the contrary there is surprisingly little info about your basketball thoughts, only that your favorite player was the great…ARVYDAS SABONIS and that you even named your Counterstrike account after him. My questions are:

  • Was your playing style in the NBA what you envisioned the ideal version of yourself (as a basketball player) to be? What part of the game were you still looking to improve before retiring?

  • Can you describe your vision of perfect basketball? If you are given free rein to build a basketball team, what would it be like?

  • We know you played CS and WoW, what games are you playing these days?

Thank you for your time. ( 如果比较方便你可以用中文回答,谢谢!)

And now the boring stuff: As I said, I am a huge fan. Here is me dressed up as you on Halloween ’11. One of my favorite teenage memories was winter time 2003, YAO VS SHAQ. This event had been brewing for months and failed to materialize because Shaq hurt his big toe or something (Kobe might remember better). Our little “Asian posse” in high school were all so excited about you in the NBA and followed your news religiously, I remember there was a full page ad of “Yao vs Shaq” in the New York Times. During winter holiday, we gathered at a friend’s house over winter holiday to watch the up and coming Rockets play the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. We cheered when you successfully blocked Shaq in the first few plays of the game, when Stevie Franchise made the crucial pull-up three, screamed at the TV (I forgot how many times) “GIVE YAO THE BALL!!!” (this will continue throughout the course of your career every time I watched you on TV) and all smiled when your calm-emotion dad finally smiled, stood up, and clapped when you had the dunk near the end of the game.

The “Tracy McGrady game” was another moment which as Bill Simmons described, “remembered where-I-was, who-I-was-with and what-I-was-doing moment”. FYI I was in my dorm room (917 Clement Hall, University at Buffalo), with my roommate and engineering friend, we were doing a physics lab report for the same class. We yelled so loud at the end of the game that we got a warning from our RA.

Diving deeper.

I remember your various hurdles coming and developing in the NBA, missing a point blank dunk, Stephon Marbury crossover, etc. You faced a lot of criticisms and was a target because of your height, being the #1 pick, and at least 0.01% because you were foreign. Yet you never wavered from being a nice guy, you didn’t fire back with insults or retaliated with cheap shots on the floor but simply continued to work hard, showed the results of hard work on the court, while continue to show others what a genuinely nice guy you are (obviously, I only know from what other people who have met you say). Until the entire league realized and acknowledged you as a supremely fine human being.

I saw a parallel in my own life, I came to the US when I was 12 from Hong Kong, I had many bitter memories in American middle school of being picked on physically and verbally because I was foreign. It was very difficult to not strike back in anger every time I hear an insult about me and my people. Even though by the time your first NBA game came, I was already in my final year in high school and these incidents had stopped, the way you handled these types of obstacles really gave me hope that it was possible to overcome hate in such a way as you did. Thank you for your inspiration and it is a lesson I do my best to practice.

Finally, I hope you enjoyed your visits to Hong Kong, I was so jealous when my HK friends got to see you!

Thank you so much for doing this AMA, it’s probably the closest I have to meeting a hero.

EDIT: I'm so happy right now I can't hide my grin in the office. YAO MING responded to me!!!!!

SuperstarTinsanity123 karma

How many days a year do you take off for vacations and fun?

How much do you get to enjoy the different places you go to? Take a hike at a national park, for example.

SuperstarTinsanity26 karma

Donnie's unofficial title in Hong Kong is 宇宙最強 "Strongest of the Universe"

SuperstarTinsanity24 karma

As an "active Christian", and agreeing with many of my Christian friends: Christian movies suck, Christian music are mostly terrible.

The History Channel's Bible series is pretty good...and guess what it was not a "Christian production".

Edit: Might as well elaborate on my views, personally I'm very okay with Christian music not being artistically great, I'm mostly in touch with them as part of worship and not as much for musical enjoyment. This is much different from Christian TV shows or movies, which is used more frequently to reach the secular audience and why I think is more important to have good artistic value. Of course The History Channel has a MUCH larger budget than other Christian production company, but pertaining to this thread, History Channel showed that they can illustrate Christianity to the general audience in the most basic format (Bible) and not piggyback off some "hip story" to deliver the Christian story.

Back to music, it really IS the lyrics and contents that makes up the song, there is this thing among Christian circles called "Jesus is my boyfriend songs" where the lyrics are just vague enough to not turn away the secular crowd. Basically lyrics that tend to focus on feelings with little to no scriptural contents.. I think if a non-Christian realizes this about a certain song they'll probably feel cheated rather than "Oh this is so inclusive and tolerant."

SuperstarTinsanity18 karma

Hi Donnie! How are you today???

I was a big fan of your TV show 精武門 Fist of Fury while I was growing up. I used to sing the theme songof the show you did with my friends in school! I just want to congratulate you on your success today and I'm very happy for you. Its been a long road since your days in ATV! Can't wait to watch Ip Man 3! P.s. I follow you on Instagram too!