FanDuel - WFBC

October 04, 2007

Rockets fine Yao Ming for attending Special Olympics opening ceremony: Doesn't strike me as the wisest of PR moves.

posted by Abiezer to basketball at 05:36 AM - 33 comments

Lets hope if any fine sticks, it goes to the Special Olympics.

posted by Knuckles at 06:32 AM on October 04

Wtf?! Maybe I am wrong. (I don't follow b-ball except casually) Did it hurt Yao's performance, missing 2 days of practice? And the media event? Big deal, he was probably glad not to have those pesky reporters in his face for a bit. I think the Rockets are the bad guys here. And amen, Knuckles!

posted by steelergirl at 06:41 AM on October 04

Yet another move by the Rockets to drive away their fan-base... You know, besides sucking... (sorry, I'm from San Antonio. So if you're not the Spurs, you suck. And if you're the Lakers, well, I wont get into that)

posted by freeze_over98 at 07:26 AM on October 04

Oh sure, go and feel sorry for the handicapped. They've already got the primo parking spaces at the mall, and now they want Yao, too? You kids get those wheelchairs off my lawn!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:50 AM on October 04

The Rockets were probably mad cause he wore baggy jeans to the Special Olympics. This is great for the Rockets and NBA's image.

posted by Steel_Town at 07:52 AM on October 04

Where's the cost/benefit analysis? It's not needed, you idiot. The team has started training camp, and if Yao wants to skip out on mandatory practices, it's going to cost him, no matter the reason. From the standpoint of the team, what's more important -- Yao's desire to do an admittedly good deed, or starting practice on time and working towards winning an NBA championship? I think it's good policy by the Rockets -- no special treatment for anyone. Also, I'd be interested to know if Yao received an appearance fee.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:21 AM on October 04

HEY DUDE YOUR RETARED FOR MAKING THAT STATEMENT (wfrazjr). GIVING BACK TO A NEED LIKE THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT,JUST NOT FOR HIM BUT FOR THE ROCKETS AND THE NBA.NOW THE NBAPA SHOULD COUNTER ON THE ROCKETS.ITS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY WFRAZJR. REMEMBER RETARED,ITS ALWAYS FOR THE KIDS.

posted by BOLTING2BELEIVE at 09:00 AM on October 04

Here's a link for ya, BOLTING2BELIEVE. Might want to try reading the new user guidelines http://www.sportsfilter.com/newuser.cfm

posted by texasred at 09:10 AM on October 04

Wow. Defending the Special Olympics and referring to a Spofite as 'retarded" in the same sentence? That's a very sophisticated kind of irony.

posted by hawkguy at 09:20 AM on October 04

And misspelling retarded on top of that. LOL

posted by scottypup at 09:34 AM on October 04

And misspelling retarded on top of that. Twice.

posted by tommytrump at 09:43 AM on October 04

You kids get those wheelchairs off my lawn! Now that made me laugh. Not a knock on you TBH 'cause I'm sure you know the difference but I always feel the need to differentiate. Special Olympics = mental handicaps, Paralympics = wheelchairs and such. And now back on topic I have to agree with fraze. Yao should have gotten permission to appear and if he did try and was turned down then surely he knew the consequences of his actions.

posted by Folkways at 09:43 AM on October 04

I guess I'm as RETARED as wfrazerjr since I agree. But BOLTING2BELIEVE .. I must ask .. many strippers are single mothers just trying to get by, so if Yao dialed up Stephen Jackson and skipped off to the gentlemen's club for 2 days, would it still be about the kids? Thankfuly Yao earned his fine by being a good citizen. Should be a non-story.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 09:49 AM on October 04

Missing two days of practice? Yao has to consult with Allen Iverson... "I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we're talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last but we're talking about practice man. How silly is that?"

posted by bnlfanmatt at 09:57 AM on October 04

And now back on topic I have to agree with fraze. Yao should have gotten permission to appear and if he did try and was turned down then surely he knew the consequences of his actions. It was a part of his schedule, so Houston knew and still didn't approve. He knew the consequences and did it anyway. It doesn't change the fact that it is a bad PR move. Raising the profile of the Special Olympics or missing two practices. The Houston Rockets don't care about mentally handicapped people.

posted by bperk at 10:18 AM on October 04

Eh. Yao has contractual obligations to the team that he is choosing not to meet at his own expense. I see this story as less "Rockets fine Yao Ming for attending Special Olympics opening ceremony" and more "Yao Ming willing to attend Special Olympics ceremony at personal cost."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:33 AM on October 04

Obviously, he's a hero.

posted by igottheblues at 10:53 AM on October 04

Moderators, I have something I want you to look at...

posted by igottheblues at 10:54 AM on October 04

I know that if i missed two days of work, without being cleared ahead of time, the proverbial shit would hit the proverbial fan. Also... hilarious Kanye reference bperk.

posted by everett at 11:01 AM on October 04

It doesn't change the fact that it is a bad PR move. Maybe so, but it's a good move in terms of the discipline and handling of your team. If we say it's time to start practice, it's time to start practice, and if you want to go off and do what you want to do instead of meeting team obligations -- be it attend the Special Olympics opening ceremonies, rescue kittens from a tree or bang hookers -- you'll be punished.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:06 AM on October 04

now celebrate him as a patriotic icon who smashes the stereotype of the weak and diminutive Chinese and shows how China can compete against the best in the world... He wasn't all that when he came into the league, he got that way by showing up to practice so he could compete with the best in the world. He's a basketball player 1st, a celebrity 2nd, take care of basketball 1st then do the celebrity thing. I'm sure the Rockets will let him set up a payment plan so he can afford that huge fine on his little salary. He'll have to skimp a bit but he chose to make the sacrifice. I wonder if the company I work for would get hammered for bad PR if I told them I won't be in for a few days cause I'm going to China for the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony and they told me that I wouldn't get paid while I was gone.

posted by Familyman at 11:14 AM on October 04

Maybe so, but it's a good move in terms of the discipline and handling of your team. Who knows? It could be important to show that you care about what is important to your players, so long as it doesn't interfere with the team. Graduations, deaths, major life moments, important charitable events. I don't know where you draw the line, but I wouldn't have drawn it where the Rockets did.

posted by bperk at 11:18 AM on October 04

It could be important to show that you care about what is important to your players, so long as it doesn't interfere with the team. Could you spell out how missing mandatory practices wouldn't interfere with the team? I'm unclear on that, as I think the reason most organizations hold practices is to make the team better. Graduations, deaths, major life moments, important charitable events. Maybe, yes, maybe, if the team says no, then no.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:28 AM on October 04

now celebrate him as a patriotic icon who smashes the stereotype of the weak and diminutive Chinese and shows how China can compete against the best in the world... I'm not sure this is actually a stereotype outside of, say, Buffalo. The Chinese sure don't think this way. If I'm an NBA team, I might fine him. Get basketball as priority number 1 - or at least remind him. The positive vibes are nice, but let's not suggest that they would or should be prioritized above the team. I'm not saying it's great that he was fined - it's just not evil or stupid.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:29 AM on October 04

Could you spell out how missing mandatory practices wouldn't interfere with the team? I'm unclear on that, as I think the reason most organizations hold practices is to make the team better. The basketball season is very, very long, and it's October. So, long as they are clicking two months from now, they will be fine.

posted by bperk at 11:32 AM on October 04

YOU ALL FROM THE SOUTH posted by BOLTING2BELEIVE at 10:53 AM CDT on October 4 Why yes, yes I am. Is that a point of contention for you? admin can delete this comment along with the prior deletions to come

posted by Folkways at 11:42 AM on October 04

Goddamn! I don't know what a media day pays, but let's just say $10,000 a practice? Holy Shit! I'd live at the Rockets facility and do the laundry in my spare time. Screw the Special Olympics! Pay me $21,000 and I'm there, otherwise don't bother. You'd have to be RETARED not to attend practice. Oh God, in your divine wisdom, why did you have to make me 5'6" and earthbound with zero game?

posted by THX-1138 at 11:51 AM on October 04

Fraz, I can see your point, and I agree to a certain extent. But are Yao's skills on the court that fragile that they couldn't let the 2 missed practices slide? Has basketball season even started yet? (not trying to be sarcastic)

posted by steelergirl at 12:39 PM on October 04

CAN ANYONE HELP ME UNSTICK MY CAPS LOCK? Oh, thanks. I agree with Crafty in that the story is on Yao doing something upstanding, despite the knowledge that it was going to cost him. While not a great PR move, the Rockets have a policy and that policy was violated. They simply enforced their player rulebook. Yao, knowing it was going to cost $, went ahead and did what he felt was right as an ambassador for both his league and his home nation. There doesn't necessarily have to be a villain in the story. And not to harsh on the NBA, but how important is early season practice for a center, anyway? It's not like he's running the point, or even covering too much of the floor. Does it take that much practice to run back and forth between the hoops? (okay, maybe I was intending to harsh on the NBA)

posted by tahoemoj at 12:52 PM on October 04

MINE IS STUCK TOO... oh, there it goes... I agree with bperk. Maybe his home country is more important to him than playing for a crappy team. I'd skip a mandatory practice to attend my kid's graduation, i'd skip if a family member passed away, and I'd skip to do something else I feel is important. but then again, I'm not exactly a pro athlete.

posted by freeze_over98 at 04:18 PM on October 04

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes about posting, by Wonkette (the new guys, not Ana Marie). "Hell, if we started drinking in the morning we'd be caps-locked and punctuation-free by afternoon too." The question here seems to be whether the Rockets should have fined Yao for missing practice without permission. That's a stupid question. The question should be what idiot denied him permission in the first place. And one of the things he missed was a media day? "We're sorry, Yao Ming won't be here today. He's tied up inspiring mentally handicapped children from all over the world." Yeah, I can see where that could be embarrassing. Just one more time the NBA owners prove that they, as a group, have no clue as to what is killing their league, so they're going to act like a bunch of jr. high assistant principals.

posted by gradioc at 06:07 PM on October 04

Actually, the Jr. High School Assistant Principals would have made him spend all day at the Special Olympics because it would be "good for him to be exposed to the differently abled." Now, the Jr. High math teacher, on the other hand, would give him an "f" for any work missed that day.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:50 PM on October 04

Yao should tell the reporters after the next practice that he's okay with the fine (IIRC penalty dollars go to some charity) and that he'll send twice the dosh to the Special Olympics because his principles are more important than his day job. Let's see the Rockets and D.Stern respond to that.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:40 PM on October 05

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