Yao Ming in town for charity event before today’s NBA exhibition game


TAIPEI–Former Houston Rockets player Yao Ming is in Taipei and took part in an NBA event Saturday before attending the team’s preseason game to be held today.

Yao, a Chinese basketball player known for his height — 2.29 meters — joined several Rockets players, including point guard Jeremy Lin and center Dwight Howard, at the “NBA Cares” event and played with local athletes with disabilities.

The event was held in association with the Special Olympics Chinese Taipei to encourage participants to take part in sports, according to the organizers.

The 33-year-old player, who was with the Rockets between 2002 and 2011 before his retirement, arrived in Taipei Friday and attended a reception for the NBA team that evening, with the team posting a photo of him and Lin on its Facebook page.

The photo showed the sharp height difference between Yao and 1.91-meter-high Lin, and one fan commented that Lin looks like a minion — a reference to characters in a popular children’s cartoon.

The Rockets are in Taipei for the second of two preseason games against the Indiana Pacers, following the Houston team’s 116-96 victory in Manila Thursday.

The games are also part of the NBA’s Global Games series, which include eight preseason games played outside the United States.

The Rockets-Pacers game will take place in the Taipei Arena Sunday afternoon. Fox Sports will provide a TV broadcast in Taiwan, with a live broadcast available to the public at the Taipei Gymnasium and outdoors behind Taipei City Hall.