The AP has a story out of Beijing where Yao Ming was interviewed about his future basketball prospects. Misleading headline alert: it says that Yao has no desire to leave the Rockets.
Unfortunately, it does have this tidbit in it:
He says he wouldn’t consider moving if conditions offered by another team were similar to those given by the Rockets.
So rather than an actual “no desire” pledge, the short of the article is Yao hopes to recover from his surgery, hopes to be with the Rockets, and plans to let them match any offer.
That’s well and good, but it’s not exactly “no desire to leave”. Yao Ming has made almost $100 million in his career. What does an extra $3 or $4 million mean to him? Well, apparently enough to actually state that he wants to stay if the contract terms are actually similar.
Besides, who knows what the free agent market will look like for Yao next year? Nothing much has developed yet, but that doesn’t mean that a desperate center-hungry team couldn’t overpay him by a lot (hi Golden State!) looking for publicity and gambling the production will warrant the contract.