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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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Operation Yao Ming: The Chinese Sports Empire, American Big Business, and the Making of an NBA Superstar

Operation Yao Ming: The Chinese Sports Empire, American Big Business, and the Making of an NBA Superstar Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The riveting story behind NBA giant Yao Ming, the ruthless Chinese sports machine that created him, and the East-West struggle over Chin‛s most famous son.

The NB‛s 7‘“ 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 McDonal‛s. But his journey to America—like that of his forgotten foil, 7‘“ Wang Zhizhi—began long before he set foot on the worl‛s brightest athletic stage.

Operation Yao Ming opens with the story of the two boy‛ parents, basketball players brought together by Chinese officials intent on creating a generation of athletes who could bring glory to their resurgent motherland. Their children would have no more freedom to choose their fates. By age thirteen, Yao was pulled out of sports school to join the Shanghai Sharks pro team, following in the footsteps of Wang, then the star of the Peopl‛s Liberation Army team. Rumors of the pair of Chinese giants soon attracted the NBA and American sports companies, all eager to tap a market of 1.3 billion consumers.

In suspenseful scenes, journalist Brook Larmer details the backroom maneuverings that brought Chin‛s first players to the NBA. Drawing on years of firsthand reporting, Larmer uncovers the disturbing truth behind Chin‛s drive to produce Olympic champions, while also taking readers behind the scenes of Americ‛s multibillion-dollar sports empire. Caught in the middle are two young men—one will become a mega-rich superstar and hero to millions, the other a struggling athlete rejected by his homeland yet lost in America.

Review:

"The 7'5' Yao Ming didn't get where he is today because of some lucky genes and a good three-point shot. Everything about him, from birth to first endorsement deal, was planned by a confluence of government and business interests intent on creating a superstar. Basketball has been popular in China since the late 19th century, so a government with a Soviet-style, militaristic sports system intent on creating world-class athletes thought little of mating its tallest athletes in an attempt to pass on their genes. Thus in 1980, Yao was born to the tallest couple in China, the result of matchmaking that carried with it the dark shadow of eugenics. From there, a government campaign worked to turn 'a boy with an ideal genetic makeup into the best basketball player in Chinese history,' writes Larmer, and it wasn't long before Nike and the NBA had their hooks in him. Larmer, Newsweek's former Shanghai bureau chief, crafts his narrative well, explaining the byzantine interests competing for their pound of Yao's flesh with admirable simplicity. Yao's story is so controlled that when he finally overcomes his initial clumsiness and starts rebelling against his government at book's end, it's hard not to feel empathy for the gentle giant. Agent, Rafe Sagalyn. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The NBAUs 7'5" 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 according to this biography, his journey to America--like that of his forgotten foil, Wang Zhizhi--began long before he set foot on the world's brightest stage.

Synopsis:

The NBA's 7'5" 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 according to this biography, his journey to America began much earlier.

About the Author

Brook Larmer was the Newsweek bureau chief in Buenos Aires, Miami, Hong Kong, and most recently Shanghai. Operation Yao Ming is his first book.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592400782
Subtitle:
The Chinese Sports Empire, American Big Business, and the Making of an NBA Superstar
Publisher:
Gotham
Author:
Larmer, Brooke
Author:
Larmer, Brook
Subject:
General
Subject:
China
Subject:
Basketball players
Subject:
Sports - Basketball
Subject:
Basketball - Professional
Subject:
Sports - General
Subject:
Basketball
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20051103
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 8 up to AND UP
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.14x6.70x1.24 in. 1.30 lbs.
Age Level:
from 14 up to AND UP

Related Subjects


Biography » Sports
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Basketball » Biographies
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Basketball » General

Operation Yao Ming: The Chinese Sports Empire, American Big Business, and the Making of an NBA Superstar
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 352 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592400782 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The 7'5' Yao Ming didn't get where he is today because of some lucky genes and a good three-point shot. Everything about him, from birth to first endorsement deal, was planned by a confluence of government and business interests intent on creating a superstar. Basketball has been popular in China since the late 19th century, so a government with a Soviet-style, militaristic sports system intent on creating world-class athletes thought little of mating its tallest athletes in an attempt to pass on their genes. Thus in 1980, Yao was born to the tallest couple in China, the result of matchmaking that carried with it the dark shadow of eugenics. From there, a government campaign worked to turn 'a boy with an ideal genetic makeup into the best basketball player in Chinese history,' writes Larmer, and it wasn't long before Nike and the NBA had their hooks in him. Larmer, Newsweek's former Shanghai bureau chief, crafts his narrative well, explaining the byzantine interests competing for their pound of Yao's flesh with admirable simplicity. Yao's story is so controlled that when he finally overcomes his initial clumsiness and starts rebelling against his government at book's end, it's hard not to feel empathy for the gentle giant. Agent, Rafe Sagalyn. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The NBAUs 7'5" 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 according to this biography, his journey to America--like that of his forgotten foil, Wang Zhizhi--began long before he set foot on the world's brightest stage.
"Synopsis" by , The NBA's 7'5" 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 according to this biography, his journey to America began much earlier.
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