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Basketball Diaries #2

2 years ago I went to Beijing to see the Rockets play the Nets.

The day before the game several of the Rockets players spent the day at the silk market buying suits and souvenirs. After shopping we sat down at McDonalds for lunch and they told me a story about their teammate Yao Ming.

Apparently when they came through customs the team had to stand in line like anybody else. A small mob started to emerge around Yao and the security had to come through and remove him from the main area to clear customs in private.

"I'm just a man." they described Yao as saying. "I can wait in line just line any other Chinese citizen."

The security would not allow it and insisted on giving Yao VIP special treatment to clear through customs quickly and be on his way. Yao was described as saddened and an incredibly nice person who did not want special treatment or isolation and just wished he could go about his way normally in the world.

"I wouldn't trade places with that guy for the world." said SG Kevin Martin "I can go to Brooklynn, put my hoodie up and "creep." I'm just another tall black guy on the street. There isn't a place he can go on this entire planet that he is not Yao Ming. It is hard."

I always try to have a lot of sympathy for people, even if their hardship is not apparent. Nobody has a perfect life or a perfect position.