I have to hand it to the giant from Shanghai ... he certainly knows how to stay in the news. First, he buys his hometown CBA team - the Shanghai Sharks - and now the Web is ablaze with news of his pregnant wife.
Already poor junior giant is being measured up by medical experts and netizens alike who have lined up to take a stab at the child's potential height.
"If the child is male, he will probably reach a height of between 2.00 m and 2.21 m," said one stern-faced expert. True to their completely objective and contemplative nature one netizen on China Daily's website commented: "This is the simplest arithmetic ever. The child will be 2.26 + 1.90 = 4.16 m tall." If that's true, then maybe 2012 really is the end of the world.
The expected birth of Yao Jr isn't until this May or June, which should give NBA teams plenty of time to assemble a crack group of scouts to witness the birth of basketball's next messiah.
I am sure deep inside the headquarters of both Nike and Reebok lawyers are huddled around a table ironing out the details of a multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement. I mean, just imagine how cool it would be if as soon as Xiao Yao pops out of the womb he strikes a pose sporting some cute little baby basketball shoes. Can anyone say cash cow?
Also, I think China should seriously think of reneging on the one-child policy, at least in the case of Yao. Instead, they should give him a five-child policy; one for each of the next five years so they can form the core of China's basketball future.
Both Yao and his wife Ye Li are basketball players and all four grandparents are athletic, so for many it seems natural to have high hopes for the baby. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Overly high expectations have a strange way of screwing everything up.
I am reminded of a certain American football player (or as American's say "soccer" player) called Freddy Adu.
A few years ago he was marketed as the next Pele. He got sponsorship deals, he even started playing professional football at the age of 14. But the pressure was just too much ... how can a teenager be a savior to a sport that only a minority of Americans even care about. Mr Adu has spent the last few years as a vagabond being bounced between football clubs all over the world. Maybe there is still hope for him, but I would hate to see the same thing happen to Yao Jr.
Yao Jr isn't even born. So why don't we just leave it at that and wait for this baby to make its own life with its own decisions. I know a lot of people in China would feel let down if Yao the Second doesn't shoot hoops, but this baby is not a national asset, it is a human being. If junior wants to dance ballet or be a teacher then I say why not? I know people are excited, but can't we just leave this poor baby in peace.
By the way congratulations Yao and Ye. I wish you and your baby the best.