The chase is over for Chinese basketball star Yao Ming. Now, the buildup begins. The Houston Rockets made Yao the first pick in the NBA Draft after completing tedious negotiations with China.
However, getting Yao into his #11 Rockets jersey is far from over. Houston must wait until mid-October for Yao to finish obligations to his Chinese national team in international competition.
That's not slowing the anticipation of the 7' 5" center's arrival, both for the Rockets and the community. One fan celebrated Yao's selection by writing Ming Dynasty on the back of his shirt in English and Chinese. A Chinese dragon paraded at another fan celebration. Owner Les Alexander already is looking for Yao's impact to begin. He thinks it will bring both countries together plus improve attendance at Rockets games.