Cleveland Cavaliers interested in Yao Ming
by Associated Press
Houston’s Yao Ming has called a possible move to Cleveland an "unknown," but did nothing to dampen ongoing speculation that the Cavaliers’ new Chinese part-owners want to sign him.In a recent interview with his hometown Shanghai TV station, Yao said he continued to have "much affection" for the Rockets, the team that picked him as a first-round draft pick in 2003 and with whom he has played all six of his NBA seasons.
While Yao had not tasted a championship, he said Houston’s drive to the second-round of the playoffs in 2009 had given him hope that the Rockets can contend next season.
Rumors of a possible switch have swirled since a group of Chinese investors signed an agreement last month with the Cavaliers to become minority owners of the franchise, a move expected to boost the team’s popularity and marketing opportunities in China, where Cleveland star LeBron James is already very popular.
"I’ve already been with Houston for such a long time, I still have much affection for this team," Yao said. "Moreover, this past season we were very successful, and that let me see some hope.
"Regardless of whether its a Chinese boss, or a foreign boss, they’re both bosses and a boss is just a boss," he added.
Cleveland has not publicly expressed interest in Yao, who has one guaranteed year left on his contract with Houston, including a player option for the 2010-11 season.