June 21, Beijing
-- We recently received an invitation from the NBA for Yao Ming
to join the NBA Draft on June 27. ( June 26 US)
As Yao is now in training for the upcoming games against Italy, Australia and Yugoslavia which are scheduled at the end of this month, and also in training for the World Championship in August and Asian Games in October, this is a very critical moment in his training. After discussions with the China national team, we have decided that Yao will not go to the US for the NBA Draft. We have already expressed our apology to the NBA and hope that they would understand our situation. Whether Yao is present at the NBA draft or not, it will not affect his future in the NBA.
Also recently, the Mayor of Houston, Houston Rockets' General Manager, Head Coach and General Counsel and the Shanghai Sharks officials have been in contact and in discussions with the CBA on the issue of Yao's trip to the NBA and the meetings were positive and effective.
The CBA views the issue of having Chinese players play in the US in a positive and cautious manner. The CBA is also working hard to protect the interest of the country and its players. Yao's trip to the NBA is progressing in a normal manner in accordance with regulations.