I Love Yao Very Much

Yes Fantasy Owners… you read it right.

Currently in my possession is the man that was once dubbed as the future of Asian Basketball. He is the Walking Great Wall of China. He is the reason why the NBA attracted billions of viewers in the Far East. Sure Wang Zhizhi was the first full-fledged Asian NBA Ambassador, but NBA owners wouldn’t have dared checking out Yi Jianlian, Bateer Mengke, Sun Yue, Yuta Tabuse, Ha Seung-jin, Hamed Haddadi, and a slew of other Asians that hit it big if not for the Chairman.

But nowadays, the 30-year-old vet is having problems with his knee which dampens his hopes to have a stellar NBA career. Sitting out the 2009-10 season, he has returned to the Houston Rockets… but with restrictions. Yao will not play in back-to-back games and will only play 24 minutes tops.

While the restrictions make Yao a dead-end pick, this way to make healthy should be valuable for a fantasy owner… if they know how to use him.

Sure I own Darko Milicic in my La Mesa Damn lineup and I am notorious for being nostalgic with my choices but yeah… when his waiver status waned, I took Taj Gibson out for Chairman Yao. Yao is not a player I thought of owning but I figure that there’s an upside to Yao. First of all, if you compare Yao’s stats to Gibson’s, Yao has more chances of claiming double-doubles despite his limited playing time. Also, if Yao can’t play back-to-back games, then you need to pick playdates where Houston’s games aren’t consecutive games. There is also something shady on how Gibson is being used in Chicago. It’s hard to count on Gibson when the Bulls battle “big” squads because Gibson is a power forward restrained in a small forward’s body.

Outside Fantasyland, Yao can still be an imposing force in the middle just like Shaquille O’Neal in Boston. The difference between the two is that Shaq is a mere complement (or for others, ornament) while the Rockets have still a lot of plays centered on Yao. Plus, Yao has managed to stay away from the awesome stride Luis Scola is having and that is cool.

Alongside Greg Oden, I have two "problematic" big men in my lineup. While Oden’s role in my team is to merely place an injured body on my injured reserve list, I think I can seriously use Yao in the long run when healthy.

When healthy!  

Game over.  


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