Yao Ming Making People Look Small

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The first time I met Yao Ming, he shook my hand and my hand pretty much disappeared. I’d been covering the NBA for a few years, but I’d never been around someone as big as Yao. Even though the NBA universe is populated by seven-footers, but there’s a sizable (pun intended) difference between being seven feet tall and being seven feet plus six inches, like Yao.

Injuries ended Yao’s career much too soon in 2011, and since then he’s actively diversified his interests: going back to school, championing charitable causes and investing in different businesses. And as he’s hopped around the globe, we’ve seen more and more photos of Yao pop up where we’re reminded just what a giant he is. A few week ago we saw a photo of Yao and Ricky Rubio, and since then I’ve been keeping my eye out for pictures of Yao being Yao…

Yao with Ralph Sampson, Dwight Howard, Hakeen Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes

Dwight Howard

Yao with Ricky Rubio

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 12.28.41 PM

Yao in Napa Valley


Yao with a 4-11 waitress

yao waitress

Yao with Jay Williams


Yao with Pro Bowl defensive end JJ Watt



  1. Markus says:

    HOLY COW!!! hahaha they look tiny compared to him… even ralph sampson, who’s only 2 inches shorter, and dwight howard who’s extremely tall in real life, is like tiny compared to him.. and like rubio and yao? oh my… it looks like the hobbit and gandalf

    • Chez says:

      Ralph Sampson was listed at 7’4″ but he was never 7’4″. Mark Eaton was really 7’4″ and even said he had at least 2 inches on Ralph. They exaggerated Ralph’s height. Hakeem as well. Hakeem ever stated hes about 6’10”. Ralph is between 7’1″ and 7’2″. Most NBA player heights are exaggerated between 1-2 because they list them in their height in shoes and then round up. Search NBA Pre Draft Measurements on google and you can see what players measured barefoot and in shoes at the pre draft combine. Dwight Howard was 6’9″ barefoot when he came into the league and they listed him at 6’11”.

    • David says:

      lol maybe he should come out of retirement all he have to do is pick up rebound.

  2. LBJ says:

    LOL he makes Ricky Rubio look like Kevin Hart.

  3. Red says:

    Miss Yao. He’s one of the most versatile big man out there. He’s happy now but I sure miss him on the court.

  4. ToastedFrenchFry says:

    Wow ! That 1st picture just settles about half of every debate ever about famous NBA players’ heights ! I guess the Rockets have a knack for drafting / signing guys with size issues 🙂 …
    Not to sound like I got lost from celebheights.com and just landed here by mistake, but that picture is awesome, what with every guy standing about the same distance from the camera, no one slouching or tippy-toe-ing and everyone wearing the same variety of shoes, giving them the same advantage, and providing us with a possibility to compare and establish sizes, once and for all.
    Note that I didn’t use any kind of software or anything, but if we are to believe the Big E’s career-long measurement of 6’9 IN SHOES (him being the only guy with a likely, undisputed height), then we come up with the following, once again with all heights being in shoes – as is on the court :

    – D12 is 6’10, which everybody knew since draft day 2004, but Magic fans wanted to believe in that “official” extra inch
    – Hakeem is 6’11 – again, everybody knew, really, but “a 7-feet center” sounded so awesome and trustworthy for a #1 draft pick in the mid 80’s
    – that big ol’ fraud Sampson never was 7’4 unless high heels were the norm on the court back in the days ; sh, Mark Eaton was right, he’s 7’2, 7’3 at best
    – and, and, AND, HOLY COW indeed my preceding friend, Yao is huge ; is head alone is a 7 footer ! guy’s a mountain ; again and again, the cognoscenti was right, 7’7 sounds good for him, thus making 7’6 his… barefoot size ! Gulp !

    PS : I know these guys are of many different ages, that we all shrink as we get older, and that the bigger they are, the more they shrink, but screw that : dare tell me this pic confirms any of these guys’ (Big E excepted) in-career billed height and disproves that un-official knowledge we all had of the reality. Like Bill Simmons wrote, it’s not like we can’t see…

  5. Buddy says:

    dude, his huge lol

    look at his HEAD SIZE compared to the SuperRocket D12

  6. Spire says:

    Yao dominated the league even while playing through pain. The difference this guy made on offense and defense is something no big man will do for a while. Still sad to see a superstar who would have been known as one of the best big men ever to get unlucky with injuries. This guy could shoot nice from mid range, hit the free throws, have unstoppable hooks, biggest factor on defense…you name it.

  7. Teamakina says:

    Look at yao’s BIG head…

  8. rtrytrytyt says:

    well im taller that five feet and i felt good till i saw these pics

  9. hyderlaker says:

    oh my god how did people deal with in the nba

    he probably didint have to jump to dunk.

    Look at his head size!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Yao Ling says:

    Shaq didn’t dominate Yao. Shaq was a veteran when Yao first stepped his foot on to the NBA basketball court. If they both enter the NBA the same time, there is no way Shaq can play against Yao. Yao played against Shaq pretty well during his first 2 years in the NBA while Shaq was already 10 veteran. Yao had a career ending injury during his prime. If Yao had a chance to play with Kobe during his prime, I am sure he would have won multiple championships like Shaq.

  11. jimcourter says:

    Ming the Merciless!