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Operation Yao Ming: The Chinese Sports Empire, American Big Business, and the Making of an NBA Superstar
by Brook Larmer
The riveting story behind NBA giant Yao Ming, the ruthless Chinese sports machine that created him, and the East-West struggle over China's most famous son. The NBA's 7'6" All-Star Yao Ming has changed the face of basketball, revitalizing a league desperate for a new hero while becoming a multimillionaire pitchman for Reebok and McDonald's. But his journey to America-like ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published November 3rd 2005 by Gotham Books
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The book “Operation Yao Ming” by Brook Lamar was great. It was about the life and development of Yao Ming as an athlete raised in the Chinese athletic system. The author also discussed the professional career of Yao Ming as a jumping point from which the NBA has expanded its role and presence in China. Of course, China has hundreds of millions of people who play basketball. That was always in the back of my mind, but I found myself returning to this book with the emergence of Jeremy Lin’s profes ...more
This was fantastic. Initially I was annoyed by the hyper-dramatic writing -- it's non-fiction but feels more like you're reading a crime thriller or something, and there are adjectives galore -- but in the end I got really caught up in it and couldn't put it down. I have some reservations about the way the author directly quotes people in historical situations he obviously did not actually witness, where it's like, umm, dude you weren't there, don't you feel a little funny about making up this d ...more
Fantastic book not just about Yao Ming, but about Chinese sports in general. It's incredibly reported and detailed, but it's also a wonderfully engaging story. It's occasionally overwritten--"Though separated in age by 12 years, the two women shared both a position (center) and an ideology (far left of center)"--it's a great story told in a very smart way, with lots of background and context.
Sep 27, 2007 Logan rated it liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Basketball fans and people interested in the socio/economic development of China
A fascinating look at the journey to the NBA by two of China's biggest and most popular sports heroes, Yao Ming and Wang Zhizhi, and the impact this journey had on the social and economic development of China and the Chinese sports system. Wow, that's a long sentence.
Very fascinating as it not only explores Yao Ming's story but the entire evolution of the China sports system. It is pretty long and some parts are slower than others but I found it incredibly interesting. It helps that I'm a big Yao Ming fan!