China's greatest basketballer and NBA hall of famer Yao Ming has landed in New Zealand ahead of tomorrow's world cup qualification match between China and the Tall Blacks at Vector Arena in Auckland.
Dwarfing waiting media, it seemed only fitting the 2.29 metre tall legend would be unveiled at Auckland's Sky Tower.
The 37-year-old knows how important a win would be tomorrow night, given the Tall Blacks stunned China 82-73 in Dongguan back in February.
“It’s very important for us because New Zealand beat us at our home last time.”
In fact, the eight-time NBA all-star has tasted his own Kiwi defeat after the Tall Blacks recovered from a massive deficit to beat China in pool play at the 2002 world cup.
Since retiring in 2011, Yao has dedicated his time to improving the quality of basketball in China.