NEWARK, New Jersey.Â Â The Houston Rockets kept their slim playoff hopes alive last night with a blowout win over the New Jersey Nets, but afterwards center Yao Ming had some sharp words for teammate Brad Miller, who scored only two points.
Mingâ€“or is it Yao?
Ming challenged Miller, whoÂ has a three-yearÂ $15 million contract with the Rockets,Â to step up his game for the playoff run, alleging that the two-time All-Star had been â€œxiao-ingâ€ (dogging) it lately.Â Yaoâ€™s complaint?Â â€œBrad Miller has no liver,â€ the Chinese center told reporters, speaking without a translator.
â€œI have not been xiao-ing it!â€
â€œWhatâ€™s he talking about?â€ was Millerâ€™s reaction.Â â€œIf I didnâ€™t have a liver how the hell could IÂ convert glucose intoÂ glycogen?â€
Asked to elaborate, Yao explained that the Chinese consider the liverâ€“not the heartâ€“to beÂ the seat of human emotions and the source of inner strength.Â â€œFor 4,000 years Chinese know that emotions go as liver goes.Â Brad should suck it upâ€“that is all I am saying.â€
Yao substantiated his claim by showing reporters a pirated Chinese CD of the mid-70â€™sÂ girl group â€œHeart.â€Â The rock bandâ€™s name was translated as â€œLiver.â€
The charges are sure to divide a team desperately in need of unity.Â Â Kevin Martin came to Millerâ€™s defense andÂ pledged to donate one of his livers to the Rockets big man.Â When informed that the human body contains only one such organ,Â Martin rescinded his offer.Â â€œI thought they were like kidneysâ€“you know, everybody starts out with a pair.â€
CoachÂ Rick AdelmanÂ suggested that Miller take time off to deal with his personal issues, and Yao seconded that notion.Â â€œHe should go to China where harvested body parts are plentiful.Â He could get a liver for the price of Peking duck at aÂ good restaurant.â€