Saturday, May 25, 2024

‘Huge gap’: Yao Ming doesn’t hold back in calling out China’s players after disappointing Asian Games

Must read

The usually mild-mannered Yao seems to be fuming.

Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming stood stoic and watched with a blank stare as Gilas Pilipinas celebrated a most improbable semis win versus host China in Asian Games basketball thanks to another heroic, Herculean effort by one Justin Brownlee.

One would surmise that the former NBA great was probably feeling sad and disappointed at the outcome of a game China had been controlling pretty much from the beginning.

RELATED STORY: Magical life hack: Do not ever, ever, ever doubt Justin Brownlee

Days later, the disappointment is still palpable. Only this time, there is also an undeniable hint of anger as Yao called out the Chinese national basketball team in an interview with the Xinhua news agency, as reported by Agence France Presse, bemoaning them as “slackers” and lamenting a “huge gap” between China and the rest of the world.

 “There are two types of slacking—one is the undisciplined kind and the other is wanting to eat your opponent in just one bite,” Yao pointed out. “This is also a type of slacking.”

Indeed, China slacked all the way to a bronze finish, which is a major disappointment given how no Chinese team has taken anything less than gold in the previous two times China hosted the quadrennial showpiece.

RELATED STORY: Tim Cone gets deeply honest after beating China, receives high praise from familiar confidant

No surprise then that Yao also hinted at a major shakeup to the country’s basketball program if it wants to catch up with the rest of the world.

“The pain comes from the huge gap between China’s basketball and world basketball,” Yao said. “We have to conduct a major operation. This is not something that small tweaks will achieve. From the makeup of the national team to league reform, this is a major operation covering the entire basketball community.”

Yao is angry now. And it took another loss to the Philippines to get him to boil over.

Somewhere, Calvin Abueva must be laughing hard.

Latest article