MANILA, Philippines - Two years after he hung up his jersey, Chinese cage star Yao Ming hasn't missed a beat and remained updated on the goings-on in the NBA.
The 7-6 Yao, who played nine seasons with the Houston Rockets before retiring due to various injuries, predicted a Miami-San Antonio duel in this year’s NBA Finals.
“I personally think San Antonio will win it in the Western Conference and Miami in the East,” said Yao.
When asked who will emerge champion?
Yao said: “I guess we have to flip a coin.”
The Shanghai Sharks owner, here for the three-day Philippine-China Friendship Games, also said Miami Heat’s LeBron James is the best player on the planet today.
“There are so many good players in the NBA today. But the best player now is LeBron James,” said Yao.
James yesterday won his fourth MVP, coming just one first place vote away from winning the highest individual award unanimously.
He also talked about the Los Angeles Lakers, his former rivals when he was still with the Houston Rockets, who suffered a humiliating sweep at the hands of the Spurs in the first round following Kobe Bryant’s season-ending injury at the close of the regular season.
“It will be tough for Lakers to rebuild their team because of the loss of their owner Mr. (Jerry) Buss. On the court and off the court, it will be hard,” he said.
Yao also said he has kept an open mind with regard to signing up former fellow NBA star Allen Iverson.