DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Today Is The Day Of The Death Of Dreams

July 8th, 2011 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

A little part of me died today when two things came to an end: the space shuttle program, and the NBA career of Yao Ming.

For a Chinese American girl who grew up in Houston, had a dad who worked for NASA, and who watched basketball religiously–I first developed a taste for the game at church camp, in fact, the summer of ’86, when a big-screen TV got rolled out after evening services so we could watch the NBA Finals, Rockets versus Celtics–today’s a day of mourning.

In my grief, I recognize a weird symmetry to both of these events happening on the same day. The space shuttle Atlantis takes final flight, Yao’s grounded by injuries to his feet and ankles. It’s a perfect, Greek symmetry: Atlantis sank into the ocean, Achilles had a heel.

As a physicist’s daughter, I suppose I should know that gravity always wins, but it’s easy to forget about the physics of things when you witness something happen in your lifetime that you’d wished for and dreamed of but never thought would come true.

[SI.com: Yao Ming retires from NBA]
[LA Times: Atlantis ends an era with liftoff]

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6 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Today Is The Day Of The Death Of Dreams”

  1. nskripchun says:

    Sad day both for the shuttle program and the NBA, but I have a feeling Yao Ming will be working hard on his next project: being a hard-ass Asian dad to his daughter, Amy. Maybe she’ll grow up to be a b-ball player like her parents?

  2. felixkeep says:

    i read the post too!!! but for the benefit of his future, I would insist for him to leave for the time being.

    I guess his height is something that is giving him problem, that causes the many injuries. Hopes he’ll get better soon, so that he can re-join, i’m sure he can have a COMEBACK after recovery!

    the youtube of his top ten, is one of the best vid!!!! <3

  3. TruePhillyCheeseSteak says:

    Here’s a commentary about Yao Ming from Foxsports.com – http://www.foxsportshouston.com/07/08/11/Yao-not-a-great-but-transcendent-player/landing_rockets.html?blockID=537595&feedID=3714.

    He was a talented player with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

  4. Jen says:

    @TPCS Thanks for the link. I got teary.

  5. rockmanj says:

    I was pretty sad to hear about Yao as well. He was a solid and skilled center. Unfortunately, with those height issues combined with that grueling schedule (basically China did not give him time off between seasons; probably a HUGE contributor to all those injuries) it was only a matter of time. :(

  6. vancity_canuck says:

    Writers from Grantland (the more sophisticated wing of ESPN) say Yao is definitely Hall of Fame worthy. And when healthy, one of the great Centers:


    Too bad he’s retiring during a lockout season. If the season starts this year in January, Yao and Kevin Martin would only have to play 50 games before playoffs – good odds from them to be healthy.

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