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Shane Battier reminds us that Yao Ming was very good

Aug 31, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier was taking questions from fans on twitter Thursday night and one answer was interesting (hat tip to Sheridan Hoops):

 Yao Ming RT @LeonD17: @ShaneBattier Best player you played with other than lebron and dwade

When you look at Battier’s other teammates over the years it makes sense. Tracy McGrady was on some of those Rockets teams but by that time it was a broken down McGrady who was a shell of his former self. There was Pau Gasol in Memphis, but peak Yao was better than peak Gasol.

Some tend to think of slowed, often-injured Yao first, but the Yao of 2004-2007 was a force of nature. He averaged better than 22 points and 10 rebounds a game twice, shot 52 percent for his career and could both dominate on the low block and knock down a midrange jumper. He was almost impossible to defend.

Yao was a great player who had his body betray him at too young an age. A loss for all of us.

  1. tannethrill - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Would be sweet if Yao could hold up for short spurts and sign with the Heat. Too bad

  2. money2long - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    In my opinion, Yao Ming would have been the best center in the game if he was around balling today. Even when he was playing, he WAS the best center. A center who towers over 7 footers, with a jump shot and an impossible to stop turnaround jump hook/post fadeaway. Efficient at the line as well, the hack-a-Yao could never be done. Good shot blocker and good scorer overall. I really wish Yao was around today.

  3. danielcp0303 - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Had so much skill, was the best center in the league for a while. Could close out games with the best of them. The league needs more Yao Ming

    • danielcp0303 - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      For a little while at least

  4. thestudiokida - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Bill Simmons always whines about Bill Walton’s career being cut short and what a tragedy and blah blah blah… what about Yao Ming? Dude could have and maybe should have won championships. You couldn’t beat him with size, maybe only small ball and fast breaking teams could have stood a chance.

  5. royistheboy - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I miss dominant big men in the NBA. No Shaq, no Yao. Remember the ’90s when it seemed like every team had a quality 7 footer? Now we just have Dwight.

    • hbdbrowns33 - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      and hes not even 7 ft tall hes like 6’10 6’11

  6. xLith - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I really wish the Yao / T-Mac combo could’ve stayed on the floor a lot more. Who knows what would’ve happened in that era if they stayed healthy the entire time. Now Us Rockets fans have Lin and Asik to look forward to. Yay………………..

  7. mrphootball - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Who cares? Lets not live in the past. Its like saying too bad michael jordan couldn’t play until he was 50.

  8. lakerluver - Aug 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Yao was a beast!! It was a joy to watch a guy that big also have that much skill.

  9. lakerluver - Aug 31, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    @mrphootball, sorry, but that comparison just doesn’t fit, dude!!

  10. fanz928 - Sep 1, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    Could have been a hof had a good post game

  11. diamondmo33 - Sep 1, 2012 at 7:12 AM


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