The next time Yao gets double-teamed, I want him to elbow somebody in the face," Van Gundy said.
David Stern probably wasn't thrilled to hear the comment, but Van Gundy's message was clear. To use the common NBA vernacular, defenses were "punking" his second-year player. Teams were double-teaming Yao regularly, and defenders were physically pounding him in an effort to take him out of his game. It was time for the big fella to fight back.
Imagine the challenge this young man faces. Yao has been somewhat reluctant to dunk during his career because he was taught as a young player in China that dunking was disrespectful to one's opponent (obviously the And One Streetball videos hadn't made it to the Far East yet).
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_y...4BHNlYwNlY2w-?slug=sk-yao&prov=yhoo&type=lgnsBecause of his height, opponents always will cause problems for Yao. But it's only a matter of time and experience before he's causing much more difficulty for them. Who knows, maybe by that time he'll be swinging elbows, listening to 50 Cent on his iPod, talking trash to his opponents in perfect English and wearing a championship ring.
Then Van Gundy would be happy.
Interesting article by Steve Kerr.