Jun 24, 2010, 9:13 AM EDT
Yao Ming wants to be back. During the time of year virtually every other NBA player has his feet up relaxing, taking some time off from the grind, he is at the Rockets facility daily busting it on the court.
Rockets owner Leslie Alexander watched him work out then told Jonathan Feigen he was “very confident” Yao would be a Rocket next season.
“I just saw him practicing,” Alexander added. “He looks great. He lost a lot of weight. He’s practicing hard. He is able to do what he wants to do. He looks like he’s in great health, which is the best you can ask for. I think Yao looks great.”
Yao can opt out of his deal before July 1 and become a free agent, but nobody expects him to play anywhere but Houston next season. The two sides have been negotiating, with the stumbling block having been years not money. Would you commit six years to a center coming off an injury?
With Yao back, the Rockets become very good very fast. They have a lightning quick back court with Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin, they have a great group of role players led by Shane Battier, and they would have the best center in the game back in the paint. With the decline of he Spurs and the Suns losing Amare Stoudemire to free agency (maybe), the Rockets could suddenly be the second best team in the West.
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