China State Media Says NBA to Blame for Yao’s Injury

» July 21, 2009 2:19 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

Amid a growing sentiment that Yao Ming has been overworked by the Chinese national team, China’s state media fired back today, blaming the rigors of the NBA for Yao’s career-threatening injury.

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A commentary in the Communist Party-run People’s Daily dismissed the widely-held view in the United States that Yao’s repeated injuries stemmed from training with China’s national team during the NBA off-season.

“It can only be said that the NBA game has worn Yao Ming out,” the paper fired back.

“The physical beating taken by every player due to the long season, the high level of match play and the endless travel cannot be overlooked.

“The NBA should consider changing its match scheduling from the standpoint of safeguarding players.”

(Via @jeskeets)

9 Responses to “China State Media Says NBA to Blame for Yao’s Injury”

  1. Basketballogy Says:

    I hope it isn’t unpatriotic to agree with China on this one.

    The NBA season is ridiculously long, and championships are actually determined as much by attrition as they are by anything else.

    If Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza didn’t go down in 2008, the Celtics may not have beat the Lakers in the Finals.

    Had Kevin Garnett not gone down in 2009, the Lakers may not have won the Finals.

    Had the Spurs been healthy in 2009, the Lakers may not have made the Finals at all.

    Every year it seems, a contender falls out of contention due to key injuries. Every year. How can anyone then blame a summer or two of representing your own country for Yao’s injury?

    This isn’t baseball where players stand around in a field for half the game waiting for something to happen in their area, then sit on a bench the other half of the game waiting for their turn to bat.

    Greed is consuming NBA talent like Gatoraid.

    That’s fine if you have another barrel coming, but not so fine if you are the spent player being tossed aside.

  2. Tsunami Says:

    Yeah I think the NBA season is too long as well. They should get rid of back to backs that require travel. The playoffs are long enough without the rigors of an 82 game season.

    I highly doubt the Chinese national team is why Yao is injured.

  3. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    I’d like to see the league shorten the regular season, but I don’t think it will happen. The NBA’s business model is based on an 82-game campaign. Contracts would have to be restructured.

    Yao has participated in international competition in each of his previous five offseasons with the Rockets. He has a history of foot issues (three breaks over the last four seasons). All of those injuries could be attributed to overuse.

    I’m not saying Yao’s commitment to the national team is solely to blame, but it certainly doesn’t help.

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  7. RJ Says:

    Your body needs time to recover. In many cases, the off-season is the only time to do so. Statistics show that any extended amount of time playing will lead to injuries. Look at the the cases of Team USA over the years. Yao is an extraordinarily huge human being, whose body is not like mot. He needs time to rest.

  8. Ilan Says:

    This is bogus posturing on the part of China. Is the NBA season long? Yes. Is it too long? Probably not. Players break down, it happens. Saying that it is due to the NBA is ridiculous. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are two good examples. Ginobili has broken down because he played for the Argentinian national team every offseason. Parker has had ankle injuries due to his participation with the Spanish national team. A player needs time off. Yao Ming and basketball in China receives more exposure from Yao’s participation in the NBA than any international competition. The shortsightedness of China’s international basketball decision-makers has not enabled Yao to have any time off. Oftentimes, he played for China with injuries or when he was not fully recovered from surgeries. They should own up to the failures of their system and not place the blame on the league that enabled Chinese basketball and Chinese basketball players to show their skills to the world.

  9. Cassius Says:

    … and this is why nobody trusts China. Someone ought to send this letter to Mark Cuban.


    Those three guys are proof enough of the dangers of not taking off-seasons away from the game. Detlef Schrempf’s back probably wasn’t aided by summer action, either.