Yao Ming droops down on a mid level chair, trying to fit his 7-foot-6 frame with his 310-pound body. He was looking very down, even though he still towers everyone in spite being seated.
He will be undergoing an operation this Thursday to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle. Another season ending surgery and might be a career-ender. His height is a blessing, but sometimes it always comes with a price.
It has been a problem with tall centers before him. Gheorghe Muresan, Manute Bol and Shawn Bradley both have encountered leg and foot injuries. They were like combustible materials who could catch fire anytime.
However, all those guys mentioned are nowhere close to Yao’s skills. He was a special player with a very good shooting touch from the mid range and has a number of post-up moves.
The 2002 first overall pick who had seven NBA All-star appearances, missed only two games in his first three seasons then sat 91 games in a span of four seasons.
It seems to be a constant predicament for Yao. Play the first few games, get injured then the rest goes to rehabilitation. There are so many expectations and so little promise.
The frustrations are building up pile after pile. Yao will have to decide if he could go on like this for eternity. It was not the way he wants his career to end. Not with so much talent and so much left on his tank.
He still wants to play but it’s still a long shot in getting back to his old form. He will have plenty of time to contemplate and think hard on his career path.
Basketball will always be part of his life, but he knows he has also a family to consider. How much could they take with another setback? How many frustrations could they muster?
Yao Ming would have to think and find solace while sitting down… Because even though he's down people still look up to him.