Rockets Now Free to Pick Yao - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/26/02

Rockets Now Free to Pick Yao

The Houston Rockets General Counsel Michael Goldberg says they are extremely happy. That's according to Houston television station KRIV. Goldberg was the lead negotiator in the talks concerning 7' 5" center Yao Ming. Early Wednesday morning, the Rockets reached an agreement with the Chinese Basketball Association, clearing the final hurdle in their quest to select the Chinese player with the top pick in the NBA Draft.

Erik Zhang, Yao's agent, confirmed the deal was reached early Wednesday morning. Goldberg says, "It means there will be a lot of happy people in Houston and in China." Goldberg tells KRIV that unless the head coach and general manager have a change of mind, they plan to use the #1 pick on Ming.

The CBA joined the Shanghai Sharks, Yao's team, in endorsing Yao for a letter of clearance to play in the NBA next season. As a result, the CBA also promised that Yao will also be available for the Rockets' full season and playoffs. Receipt of a clearance letter from FIBA, the sport's international governing body, is a formality following recommendations from the CBA and Sharks.

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