Taipei, July 21 (CNA) Jeremy Lin is a good player to help rebuild the Houston Rockets, a U.S. article quoted former Rockets star Yao Ming as saying Friday, following Lin's acceptance of a three-year US$25.1 million contract with the Texas team.
Yao, the team's former Chinese center who was dubbed the "Moving Great Wall," said in the Houston Chronicle report he was happy to see his Taiwanese-American friend join the Rockets and believed Lin, 23, could play a key role in reconstructing the team.
"I consider Jeremy Lin a very good puzzle (piece) for the reconstruction of the Rockets," Yao said. "He is an excellent team player and at the critical time, he will not be soft."
"I heard the Rockets gave Jeremy an offer few days ago," the retired Yao said. "I just wished the Big Apple would not match that. Fortunately the Knicks didn't."
Yao, 31, also noted in the report that Lin had repeatedly been underestimated by other teams, but it was under this environment that he "created his invincible personality."
Lin, who was undrafted by NBA after graduating from Harvard University in 2010, was waived twice by the Golden State Warriors and the Rockets on Dec. 9 and Dec. 24, 2011, respectively.
He was scooped up by the New York Knicks on Dec. 27, 2011 as a restricted free agent, but remained on the bench most of the time and came on court mostly as a substitute.
It was not until February 2012 that Lin shocked the world by leading the Knicks to a seven straight win, but Lin wound up on the sidelines again after sustaining a knee injury in April and has been off court for the last few months.
Yao, who has become a successful businessman and owner of Shanghai Sharks since retiring in 2011, became acquainted with Lin two years ago when Lin played in Yao's charity all-star games in Beijing and Taipei. They have remained in contact ever since.
"I believe the Rockets made a good decision," the report quoted Yao as saying. "I wish the team good luck in the new season."
(By Lung Po-an and C.J. Lin)