Monday, 18 October 2010


Yao Ming (R) of the Houston Rockets laughs as he sits with his teammate Shane Battier on the bench during the NBA China Games series basketball game at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena in Guangzhou, Guangdong province October 16, 2010. REUTERS/Joe Tan (CHINA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The travelling Houston Rockets beat the New Jersey Nets 95-85 as Yao Ming had homecourt advantage. The legendary, injured centre notched a rookie season like 10 points and 5 boards back home in China in front of an excited, eagerly anticipating, debuting Guangzhou International Sports Arena crowd. All eyes where on the Ming dynasty and the problems Houston gave New Jersey. Originally this would of been a Yao, Yi rematch to a televised game in the U.S that drew Chinese viewers by the millions. The real, live clash however missed China's second favourite basketball son as Yi Jianlian is getting bucks with a new team that isn't Jersey (he's now making magic with the Wizards). Still Jersey boys Brook Lopez and Anthony Morrow had 20 and 19 respectively while one time King, Kevin Martin rose for the Rockets with 16points. Yao who was in as much demand and received as many chants in this preseason as Kobe did in London logged 18 minutes and a half hour on the exercise bike on the sideline. Meanwhile Aaron Brooks scored 12 points in Rockets red and white, while Houston's other rehabbing centre Brad Miller notched 11 in China.

Dwyane Wade stretches during preseason workouts of the Miami Heat NBA basketball team at Hurlburt Field Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Florida September 29, 2010.  REUTERS/Joe Skipper  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

He may be one part of the NBA's three pronged centre of attention but it looks like things have stopped revolving around 'Wade's World' for a minute. While his Miami Heat are practicing in South Beach Dwyane Wade is working out in his native Chicago, trying to get back into playing shape. Months ago Chi-town would have loved this scenario as then free-agent Wade was linked with the Bulls. Alas however that mocked up SLAM cover never unfolded into reality. Wade is in Illinois rehabbing his hamstring injury on court and appearing in court off the practice floor regarding the custody of his two sons. It is hoped that the A.W.O.L Wade will return A.S.A.P. Another hot, Heat legendary free agent signing and hamstring injury sufferer LeBron James has returned to his new teams practices and scrimmages. So every cloud in the star studded Miami sky has a silver lining and as for that championship gold, think thrice.

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 10:  Head coach Thad Matta and Ohio State Buckeyes players put their hands in the middle and raise a finger during a timeout in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions during Day 2 of the Big 10 Tournament on March 10, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

In closing there is sad news to report. This Thursday gone we lost Basketball legend Larry Siegfried. The legendary Ohio State and Boston Celtic star was 71. He had recently suffered a heart attack. He won a championship in Ohio and five titles in seven years whilst earning his Irish in Beantown. After his playing days the former Cincinnati Royals third draft choice also provided excellent humanitarian work coaching and counselling prisoners at the Mansfield Correctional facility. Just like Drake, Siegfried saw past the Buckeyes team he captained and won the championship in 1960. So lets thank this MVP now and remember all the All-American has done. Ohio coach Thad Matta certainly is, lamenting Larry, "Our basketball program has lost one of its finest members." TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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