HoopsHype Yao Ming rumors

August 14, 2012 Updates

Retired NBA basketball player Yao Ming is visiting Kenya to film a crucial documentary aimed at highlighting the dwindling populations of rhinos and elephants in the country, occasioned by poaching. Yao’s first ever visit to Kenya is a meaningful one, as it will enlist his support in taking the anti-poaching message to his Chinese homeland, where Ivory is a prized commodity. According to a statement from the Ol Pejeta conservancy, which houses four of the world’s remaining seven northern white rhino, the documentary will be titled “The End of the Wild”. Capital FM

August 5, 2012 Updates

Yao told the state news agency Xinhua late on Saturday he supported the decision of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to disqualify the players but added that he understood the feelings on the issue of his fellow Chinese. "(The) same kind of things happen in basketball. It's a simple question. Is the match-fixing scandal right? Does a gold medal (mean) more than anything else?", Yao said. "People have different attitudes to the Olympics and I must say some sports need to polish the rules. I feel really sorry for the punished players. They are the victims." Eurosport

July 30, 2012 Updates

Yao Ming doesn’t give many interviews anymore, but he stopped long enough yesterday as he entered the Olympic Park’s basketball arena to give a thumbs up to Jeremy Lin leaving the Knicks and joining his former club, the Rockets. The 7-foot-6 Yao is doing Olympic commentary for Chinese TV and worked Spain’s 97-81 victory over China. When asked what he thought of Lin joining the Rockets, Yao told The Post, “It will be good for both of them, Jeremy and Houston.’’ New York Post

July 25, 2012 Updates
July 14, 2012 Updates
June 22, 2012 Updates

Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets center who has reportedly amassed a $150 million-plus fortune in salary and endorsement deals, is reinventing himself in China as a venture capitalist, philanthropist, vintner, and student. But thus far, his second act is proving more challenging -- and far less lucrative -- than his sports career. He's pumped his own money into various businesses, including nearly $6 million into Top100.cn, an ad-supported digital-music partnership between Beijing-based Orca Digital and Google (GOOG, Fortune 500). The site for Chinese consumers has struggled to compete with pirated online music services, and in 2010 traffic fell dramatically when Google rerouted China traffic to its Hong Kong site over censorship concerns. Still, Orca CEO Gary Chen says that Yao has been supportive: He stopped by Top100.cn's offices last summer, met with management about the company's strategy, and even offered to take individual photos with its 35 employees. CNN.com

June 11, 2012 Updates
June 8, 2012 Updates

Carl Landry: "There's the possibility that I could sign a contract with the Shanghai Sharks. I would sign if Yao Ming pays me a lot of money [laughs]." NetEase

May 21, 2012 Updates

Last month, NBA commissioner David Stern said preseason games will be staged in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing this October. Despite Jeremy Lin’s friendship with Shanghai Sharks owner Yao Ming, the Knicks will not be selected as one of the teams playing in China, The Post has learned. Indications are the Knicks, if they re-sign Lin as expected, are being saved for a preseason bonanza in 2013, when the NBA could visit Taiwan. Lin’s parents are of Taiwanese descent. Lin is the first NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. The Knicks may return to Saratoga for training camp this fall. New York Post

May 10, 2012 Updates

Chinese basketball icon Yao Ming has signed a book deal with Britain's Opus Media Group for a limited-edition volume on his illustrious career, the publisher said. Yao, who retired from the NBA's Houston Rockets last year, became one of the world's most recognisable sports stars through his court play and his many commercial sponsorships. Straits Times

April 17, 2012 Updates

In a recent interview with Xinhua published on April 12th, Yao talked about his decision to sue Wuhan Yunhe, Jordan’s case against Qiaodan and the future of Chinese sportswear brands which “happen” to be identical with names of sports celebrities. “Behind my name is my experience, and my blood, sweat and pain. I take this very seriously, and that’s why I’ve decided to defend my rights,” said Yao. “I am confident that Michael Jordan and many others like us feel the same way. And it’s important to help everyone understand this in order to protect consumers and stop companies that are purposefully misleading them.” NiuBBall.com

Though Yao officially sued Wuhuan Yunhe in May 2011, the case actually started in 2003 while he was playing for the Houston Rockets after the sportswear company attempted to use a “Yao Ming Generation” trademark on its shoes and clothes. Unsure whether or not to take the issue to court for fear of further encouraging copyright infringement, Yao ultimately decided to file a lawsuit once Wuhan Yunhe expanded its sales nationwide. Yao won and the company was ordered to pay a RMB 300,000 fine. But Yao and his legal team elected to appeal because the settlement figure was deemed not high enough. “After winning the ‘Yao Ming Era’ case in the first ruling, we chose to appeal, because we thought a RMB 300,000 fine was not sufficient to punish or deter. The manufacturer would still think the price paid for law violation is low”, said Yao. NiuBBall.com

Jordan’s case is still pending in Shanghai Second Intermediate Court. Yao also had words for these types of infringement-based business models. While companies who infringe may provide short-term profits, he thinks brands will never be able to break through and create a long-term prosperity by stealing other peoples’ names. “Although a settlement is yet to be made, it tells us a piece of truth – that is, to obtain vitality, an enterprise must be innovative. I remember an advertisement slogan which goes ‘it has always been imitated but never outshone’. If businesses continue to refuse innovation, they will fall into the awkward situation of “always imitating others and never being able to outshine,” Yao said while laughing. “Rules are everywhere. Sports have rules and so does business. Only when everyone plays by the rules can we have positive competition and realize sound development. Therefore, relevant laws and regulations need improvements as well.” NiuBBall.com

April 6, 2012 Updates

After retiring from the NBA last year, Ming has enrolled in a Shanghai university, purchased his old Chinese basketball team (the Shanghai Sharks), joined a Shanghai political advisory body and maintained a strong connection to his charitable foundation helping children affected by earthquakes in western China. He also has been working on his wine venture, with the release of the Yao Ming 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($280) and the Yao Ming Napa Valley Family Reserve label ($790) last year. Ming is hoping that he can play a role in the continuing growth of China’s wine market. “Wine represents a culture,” Yao said in an interview in Shanghai. “We drink a lot. But maybe we just have a different drinking culture here. My favorite thing is to have a glass of wine with a book in hand, maybe some music, sitting on the couch on a weekend,” he said. “In China in the last few years, everybody has gotten so busy. Especially in Shanghai and the big cities. Wine,” he said, “can slow you down. It can bring peace.” Haute Living Magazine

March 21, 2012 Updates

The two equipment managers walked along with arms filled by about a half-dozen extra-extra-long crutches and enough jumbo plastic boots to immobilize an army marching to a cadence of: "Fee-fi-fo-fum!" It was both a comical and bittersweet sight as Yao Ming soon followed them down the hallway. For the first time since he announced his premature retirement from the NBA last summer, Yao returned to his adopted hometown without so much as a limp. "Good enough for walking, but not good enough for playing basketball games," he said of his achy-breaky feet. NBA.com

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