Monday, 24 Jun 2024

Rockets Embrace Their Role as China’s Beloved Team

Rockets Embrace Their Role as China's Team

The Houston Rockets have carved out a special place in the hearts of Chinese basketball fans. Ever since the days of Yao Ming, the Rockets have been embraced by the Chinese population and have become known as “China’s Team.” This unique bond between the Rockets and China has only grown stronger over the years.

A Decade of Dedication

Back in 2004, when the Rockets took part in the first-ever NBA Global Games in China, it was a celebration of Yao Ming, the nation’s pride and joy. Yao’s impact extended beyond the basketball court and made him a cultural icon. Fast forward to today, and Yao is still revered in his hometown as a retired player, a successful entrepreneur, and a newly inducted member of the Hall of Fame.

Rockets: China’s NBA Team

The Rockets’ connection with China goes far beyond just Yao Ming. The team has cultivated partnerships with numerous Chinese companies, solidifying its status as the country’s favorite NBA team. Chinese fans remain loyal to the Rockets, making them the most followed and recognized team in China.

A Long-Term Vision

The Rockets’ owner, Leslie Alexander, has always aimed to make the team not just the most popular in China, but in the world. The Rockets’ commitment to China has opened doors for business opportunities and strengthened the bond between the team and its fans. The NBA’s growth in China has been nothing short of remarkable, with millions of fans tuning in to watch games and engaging on social media.

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Driving Basketball Forward

The NBA’s impact in China extends beyond the Rockets’ success. The league has partnered with the Chinese Basketball Association to train coaches and develop youth basketball programs. The NBA has also invested in building basketball facilities across the country, giving young Chinese athletes the opportunity to develop their skills.

The Rockets’ Home Away from Home

China has become the Rockets’ second home, with the team making regular visits during the offseason. The players are treated like rock stars, and the support they receive from Chinese fans is unmatched. James Harden, the Rockets’ star player, acknowledges the special connection between the team and China.

A Lasting Legacy

Yao Ming’s legacy paved the way for the NBA’s popularity in China. The Rockets played a vital role in introducing the sport to a new generation of fans. As the NBA’s presence continues to grow in China, Yao takes pride in knowing that his American team played a significant part in making it happen.


Q: Why are the Houston Rockets known as China’s Team?
A: The Rockets became synonymous with China’s love for basketball through their association with Yao Ming, the nation’s basketball superstar. The team’s popularity has only grown over the years, making them the most followed NBA team in China.

Q: What initiatives has the NBA undertaken in China?
A: The NBA has partnered with the Chinese Basketball Association to train coaches, develop youth basketball programs, and build basketball facilities across China. These initiatives aim to nurture the sport’s growth and provide opportunities for young athletes.

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Q: Why do the Rockets have a special relationship with China?
A: The Rockets’ commitment to China goes beyond their association with Yao Ming. The team has cultivated partnerships with Chinese companies and actively engages with fans across the country. This dedication has made the Rockets China’s favorite NBA team.


The Houston Rockets have embraced their status as China’s beloved NBA team. The legacy of Yao Ming and the team’s long-standing commitment to China have solidified their place in the hearts of Chinese basketball fans. The Rockets’ popularity in China is a testament to the NBA’s growing influence and the sport’s universal appeal. Through various initiatives and partnerships, the NBA continues to fuel the passion for basketball among Chinese youth. The Rockets’ home away from home, China, remains a vital hub for the team’s success and growth.