Yao Ming attends a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2017. Yao Ming, member of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and former NBA all-star player, was voted as the president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) here on Thursday. (Xinhua/Meng Yongmin)
By Sportswriter Zheng Zhi
BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Yao Ming, the newly elected president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), said on Thursday that Chinese basketball reform needs to focus on priorities.
He also annoucned that he plans to sell his shares of the Shanghai Sharks in the CBA.
In his first press conference as CBA president, the 37-year-old Chinese basketball legend was asked what is the biggest problem facing Chinese basketball.
"The question reminds me of the year 2004, when our first foreign coach of national team Delmer Harris asked me the same question, my answer then was 'there's no biggest problem, because there are problems everywhere,'" said Yao.
"This is what happens in reforms but, every reform has its priority. What we need to do is to find the priority after research, and solve the problem and associated ones to create a virtuous cycle," Yao added.
Yao also addressed the potential for conflicts of interest due to the fact that he's invested in the Shanghai Sharks, the team he began to play for as a teenager, not to mention his status as vice president of the newly-established CBA company that aims to promote the sport.
"I have a simple role in Chinese basketball now, the CBA president," Yao said. "From today I will not deal with issues of the Shanghai Club. Before the next CBA season, I'll find a new, enthusiastic investor for the club."
As the first-pick of 2002 NBA Draft, Yao spent 9 years overseas as a player for the Houston Rockets. Today's press conference ended with a question ahout whether his American green card will influence his future work.
"I have no green card," Yao replied with a smile on his face.