I rented and watched The Year of The Yao from Netflix recently. It was a documentary of Yao Ming’s rookie season. We all enjoyed it.
I have great admiration for Yao Ming. When he came to the NBA, he was just 22 years old, with language, cultural, and social barriers to overcome, not to mention the pressure of NBA life, the media, and great expectations of a lot of people from China. Yet he seemed to take everything in stride, and handled all of those with grace, humility, and a great sense of humor. I was very excited to see him coming to the US and play for the NBA. And, frankly, as a fellow Chinese, I am very proud of him.
Most of the details, games, and background information are not new to me anymore, since I followed reports of Yao Ming pretty closely during his rookie year. However, I think it is going to be a great movie for people who generally do not follow the NBA, or people who are interested in this interesting cultural exchange between US and China. Strangely, one thing that still surprised me was how tall he is. The footage of him at a Bestbuy store and the airport really struck that point home.
Someday I’d like to see one of Yao’s games live. My son is a big Yao Ming fan now and would like to get his signature. I planned to go see the game between Houston and Chicago in January, but Yao was injured and did not play, so we didn’t go.
Yao, by the way, is his surname / family name. Ming is given name. It means brightness in Chinese. I wrote some explanation on Chinese names here.