By Craig Kwasniewski
I find in very interesting that Kobe is putting off surgery on his hand until after the olympics and yet Yao Ming is having surgery *FOR* the olympics.
Houston Rockets center and China captain Yao Ming has insisted he will do everything possible to be fit for August’s Olympic Games in Beijing after being ruled out for at least four months with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Rockets team doctor Thomas Clanton claimed the injury was the result of a heavy workload but does not believe it will cost Yao the chance to participate in the Games.
Here's something that Houston Rockets fans really have to realize: Yao Ming is Team China first and a Houston Rocket second.
Don't get me wrong, if not properly dealt with, stress fractures can absolutely kill the career of a big man. Just look at what happened to Sam Bowie and Bill Walton (mix in Greg Oden's knee issues and I'm starting to think the Blazers are jinxed). So I'm not saying that Yao Ming's injury needs to be ignored or put off like Kobe's finger injury. I'm just saying that it's very interesting (not ironic, but coincidental) that Yao's people decided to shut him down for the 07-08 season giving him just enough time to heal for the summer olympics.
Isn't there any chance of temporarily shutting Yao down for six weeks just to see if can be ready for the playoffs? Maybe, but I really don't think that's in his or China's best interest.
The Yao shutdown couldn't come at a worse time. Clearly the hottest team in the NBA, the McGrady/Ming tandem was finally matching their potential. And with all the focus on the Lakers, Suns and Mavs, they could have easily snuck into the second round...for the first time in both McGrady's and Yao's careers!
BTW - Has there been any greater talent than the two of them to never advance in the playoffs? Can't the NBA relinquish a few All-Star appearances for the post season failures?
Anyway, the Rockets still have the potential to knock off a top team in the first round, but nothing beyond. Of course that's assuming Tracy McGrady's back holds up. Most likely, they'll put a serious scare into someone and fall short in the first round..... again.