By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor
I actually was never into any kind of sports. In elementary, while everyone else was playing football or something, I played tag or went to the swings. It wasn’t until I was introduced to basketball through the Houston Rockets that I rapidly indulged into athletics.
I grew up watching Yao Ming play with the Rockets until his retirement in 2011. I admired Yao Ming and others in the team like Tracy McGrady and Luther Head. Coincidentally, I was on the same flight as Yao Ming in 2013 flying from Beijing to Houston.
After Yao retired, my family and I literally lost interest in the NBA because a basketball legend has stopped playing. When Jeremy Lin came along in the 2013-2014 season, I had little interest in him and his playing style. He honestly wasn’t the same as Yao. I only watched one game that season: the New Year’s Eve game against the Sacramento Kings in which we lost.
From 2014 up until 2017, I put watching the Rockets on a hiatus due to high school’s hectic academic demands. Since 2017, I started “watching” the team play again via Instagram stories. I did go to one game for the first time in awhile with my visiting uncle.
The reason why I started watching the Rockets again was because James Harden joined in 2012. I’m happy that Harden’s great playing style launched the Rockets to victory. He brought back the enthusiasm for the Houston Rockets that I had before Yao Ming retired.
I was stunned to hear that Harden had tested positive for the Coronavirus. Luckily, he recovered as I saw him playing in games again.
I even watched other games like East V.S. West NBA All-Stars. I watched mainly for Yao Ming, now I can’t wait to see Harden in that position since he’s my new favorite Rockets player.
Currently, the Rockets are resuming their games along with other NBA teams. I am both delighted and concerned at the same time, at the restoration of normal season and COVID transmissions (respectively). Either way, it’s great to see James Harden show off his moves for the Rockets.
Besides being a fan of a particular player, my days as the team’s number one fan go back as far as my elementary school years. I wear a jersey, make posters and bought merchandise from the store in most games I’ve attended. I even personally met with the Rockets’ Power Dancers and got their autograph.
Those were all in the past, nowadays, my family isn’t enthusiastic about the Rockets as much anymore even with James Harden playing for them. I seem to be the only one to become excited about the Rockets again. This is because I care about the team winning in the season, and obviously in games.
As of currently, my schedule is too busy to see a game. There wasn’t an audience at the game anyway due to this pandemic. I may tune in anytime during one of my free-times through live stream, although it might not feel the same.
I miss and want that same energy I had as a fan watching the game on-site. This pandemic will be over eventually, I hope by the end of 2021. It is not guaranteed because this invisible enemy, as we all know, is very unpredictable. Once everything clears up, I hope to enjoy the Rockets in-person again.
Featured image by Tiger Shi.