In a new memoir with sportswriter Ric Bucher, Yao: A Life in Two Worlds, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming reflects on straddling two cultures--at 7 ft. 5 in.
Are you relieved that Shaq is in another conference now? Yes. My sympathies go out to all the Eastern Conference centers.
Who's the biggest trash talker in the NBA? The coaches.
Has playing in the U.S. changed your personality? It has fertilized my growth as a person. The competitiveness of the NBA brings out more emotion in me, and I'm more willing to display that emotion now.
Why did the U.S. basketball team play so badly in the Olympics? It's a lack of understanding of international basketball, the rules, the players. Team China has the same problem.
What's the biggest misconception that Americans have about China? I don't know, but the Chinese seem to know more about Americans than the other way around.
Would you ever want to be a U.S. citizen? Not right now. Because of the terrorism thing, it's safer to be a Chinese citizen. [Translator: That's a joke, by the way.] I still feel very Chinese. This is my country. Besides, basketball is an international language.