Yao Ming’s prominence as one of basketball’s most iconic figures, both in the NBA and internationally, is undisputed. From the Shanghai Sharks to the Houston Rockets, Yao has dazzled fans and carved out an impressive legacy.
Who is Yao Ming?
Born on September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, Yao Ming towers at 7ft 5 inches and has made an indelible mark on the basketball world. He notably became the only non-US player to lead NBA’s All-Star voting and held a dominant position with the Shanghai Sharks by the age of 17.
What Defined His NBA Journey?
Drafted first overall by the Houston Rockets in 2002, Yao’s NBA journey was filled with accolades. He became an 8-time NBA All-Star and a 5-time All-NBA team member. With salary figures skyrocketing from USD 3.85 million in his rookie year to USD 17.6 million in the 2010-11 season, Yao amassed roughly 93 million US dollars during his NBA tenure.
How Did Brand Endorsements Boost His Earnings?
Yao’s fame transcended beyond the basketball court, leading to lucrative endorsements. From global giants like Apple, Reebok, and McDonald’s to tech firms like Garmin, Yao’s endorsement portfolio is diverse. A 2010 Sports Illustrated report revealed that Yao raked in USD 34.37 million just from endorsements.
What Investments Did Yao Venture Into?
Apart from basketball, Yao showcased his entrepreneurial flair. He ventured into the restaurant business with establishments in Shanghai and Houston. The wine connoisseurs also appreciate his Yao Family Wines launched in 2009 in California. While some investments like the ‘Top 100’ music website didn’t pan out, his involvement with NBA China’s Yao Basketball Club and a stake in Ablues Design highlight his diversified investment approach.
Does Yao Have Other Income Sources?
Yes, apart from his basketball career and endorsements, Yao is the co-founder of Yao Capital, a private equity firm. With an aim to raise USD 250 million for its inaugural US dollar fund, Yao’s involvement underscores his deep ties with the global sports industry.
Where Does Yao Ming Reside?
Yao’s residential choice was a sprawling 9,580 square-feet house in Houston, which he acquired in 2007. However, recent reports suggest that this luxurious property, boasting 5 bathrooms and 12 rooms, has been listed for sale at USD 3.99 million.
What Cars Does the 7ft 5in Giant Drive?
One might wonder what cars can accommodate Yao’s towering frame. After a brief tryst with a Toyota Sequoia, Yao’s heart settled on the BMW 7-series sedan. To ensure comfort, he even had it customized to suit his stature. This love for BMW continued with the acquisition of another BMW 740.
How Has Yao Ming Contributed to Philanthropy?
Beyond his professional achievements, Yao’s heart beats for charity. Whether it’s hosting telethons to fight SARS, playing charity matches for underprivileged Chinese children, or contributing US$2 million through his Yao Foundation for Sichuan earthquake victims, Yao Ming’s philanthropic endeavors are commendable.
Yao Ming’s story isn’t just about basketball prowess or financial acumen. It’s about a relentless spirit, a heart that cares, and a legacy that continues to inspire. Whether on the court, in the boardroom, or within the community, Yao Ming stands tall in every sense of the word.