Even though the Hoyas won 74-65 over Rutgers on Saturday January, 15,...
Yao Ming Is Worth Billions To The NBA
After playing 244 of his first 246 regular-season games, Yao Ming has lost another season due to a stress fracture in his left ankle. Since then, Yao has missed 193 regular-season games starting with the 2005-06 season, this is a tremendous loss to the Houston Rockets organization and the NBA. Yao is not an ordinary player, he is the bridge that connects the NBA to China and the million fans that occupy the country.
Will Yao be back?
There is a possibility that he might be back, the surgery he will undergo on his ankle is a procedure many past NBA players have come back from. The real question is. Does Yao want to rehab? With no guarantees that he won’t occur another injury during the season. This leaves his return in doubt.
According to Rockets’ team physician Walter Lowe:
When you look at the course of Yao’s career, stress fractures have been a part of his foot, to say he’s not at a risk to continue to have stress fractures would be crazy. He is at a continued risk. The question now will be whether he can ever expect to play without suffering stress fractures and whether he wishes to try.
Yao has a lot of soul searching during his rehab because the road to recovery is a difficult one.
The NBA needs Yao
With Stern’s vision of the NBA going global, he desperately needs Yao to be the ambassador to China. There are billions of dollars at stake. I believe, Stern will do what it takes to make sure his vision for global expansion moves forward.
If Yao intends to play again, he’ll need to step away from the game for a couple of years and fully recover. With his skill set, two years away from competition will not be that bad. Upon his return, the team that he goes to will have to limit his minutes and ease him back in over the course of the season.
A limited Yao is worth billions to the NBA in their global marketing plan.