The Tao of Yao: Wisdom from Basketball's Brightest Big Man

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Overview

As a basketball player and international spokesman, 7'5" Yao Ming has quickly become the eighth wonder of the sports world. Amazing fans, players, and experts with both his surprising performance and down-to-earth personality, Yao has proven to be a refreshing font of contemporary wisdom. But perhaps that is because Yao's words and deeds are deeply rooted in the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. By placing Yao's character, accomplishments, and image in the proper context -- in the lineage of great basketball ...
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Overview

As a basketball player and international spokesman, 7'5" Yao Ming has quickly become the eighth wonder of the sports world. Amazing fans, players, and experts with both his surprising performance and down-to-earth personality, Yao has proven to be a refreshing font of contemporary wisdom. But perhaps that is because Yao's words and deeds are deeply rooted in the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. By placing Yao's character, accomplishments, and image in the proper context -- in the lineage of great basketball players and coaches as well as the evolving history of Asian and American culture -- we can come to a more profound understanding of not only Yao but also the role and responsibility of the athlete in modern society.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this clever twist on the traditional sports biography, Chin focuses on the 7'5'' Yao Ming, the Chinese-born basketball star whose skills during his first year playing with the NBA's Houston Rockets were nothing short of remarkable. Chin (author of the graphic novel Nine of One) deftly weaves Yao's biography and the events of his first season as Houston's number-one draft pick with an explanation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching-along with numerous quotes from this venerable Chinese philosophical classic-as a way of explaining the phenomenon of a player who is "redefining how Asians could view themselves, as well as the image of the athlete in modern society." Chin is a skilled writer with an obvious love of basketball who provides compelling insights into Yao's skills, such as how his role as the linchpin for both the Rockets' offense and defense makes him, in a Taoist sense, the "anti-center"-"Embodying the qualities of water, he is fluid as much as fixed." But Chin sometimes overreaches, such as in his view that "[b]y understanding the basic Taoist relationship between difficult and easy, Yao was able to draw upon Lao's timeless wisdom for comfort in the here and now." A player like Yao who signs a $200,000 endorsement deal with Nike can be seen as far more Western than Eastern, a point which Chin himself makes in other good observations about Houston's expanding Asian-American community and the remarkable media savvy that Yao has shown when dealing with NBA superstars like Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583940907
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 10/20/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.98 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Oliver Chin has been a lifelong basketball fan, weekend warrior, and an aficionado of regional sports rivalries as he has lived in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Currently he resides with his wife Amy and son Lucas in San Francisco, CA.
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Table of Contents

1. The Wonder of Yao 1
2. The Meaning of the Tao 19
3. The Wisdom of Lao 27
4. The Cultural Ambassador 35
National Pride 36
The Houston Globetrotters 45
Coming to America 55
5. The Rookie 67
The Bite of Charles Barkley 80
6. The Art of Traveling 91
On the Road Again 95
Family Ties 100
Local Hospitality 106
7. The Aim of Athletics 113
There Is No "I" in Team 125
The Forgotten Fundamentals 132
The Passing Principle 140
8. Sports Are War 147
Enemy Mine 150
The Force 153
The Tao of Offense and Defense 156
Shaq Attack: War of the Words--and Worlds 161
Game Faces 168
Stars and Stripes 173
9. Being in the Center 181
The Anti-Center 187
10. Lighting the Way 197
The Ming Is the Message 200
The Rise of a Shooting Star 207
Appendix Statistics 217
Endnotes 223
Index 245
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    Tao of Yao

    Oliver Chin wrote his best book for The Tao of Yao. If you like basketball you will like The Tao of Yao. Chin gets you so interested in what Yao did to overcome people saying he was a bad choice for the Rockets and being called out by Shaq.

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