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Rockets Fans Around the Globe: Malaysia

The Petronas Towers have become a national symbol for Malaysia, and are two of the tallest buildings in the world.
The Petronas Towers have become a national symbol for Malaysia, and are two of the tallest buildings in the world.

If you haven't started reading these yet, start here. Kang makes a great observation about the origins of becoming a fan and why he chooses to root for the Rockets. It's always refreshing to see an e-mail in appreciation of the basic game of basketball. Anyways, good stuff from Malaysia. Send in your submissions to the global quest for Rockets fans. We'd like as many as possible in order to see where all of you guys are coming from. Send all submissions to tommartin@thedreamshake.com or tweet them here.

Name: Kang Wey Xiang

Country: Malaysia

"In my country, football, or soccer as we call it, is the most popular sport. Basketball is rarely talked about, and when it is, it's mostly about Kobe, LeBron or AI, so it's hard for me to actually find anyone to discuss or watch the NBA playoffs with.

Personally, I've played pickup basketball since I was 15. Being 6'2, I'm considered tall so I'm forced to play center most of the time. Playing at that position has made me appreciate the finer things in the NBA, such as defense, teamwork, rebounding and post moves. Most, if not all, people that play here only like offensive 1 on 1 moves, which is why AI, Kobe and Lebron are idolized by 99% of the people that play basketball here.

I'll be honest here, I'm not a die hard Rockets fan. Specifically, I'm not a die hard fan of any team. I see most Americans being supporters of teams that they are geographically associated with. Coming from Malaysia, I don't pledge loyalty to any team as there is no sense of home for me, nor is the team guaranteed to play with the same style, coach or players for eternity.

My appreciation for teamwork, defense, rebounding and post moves however has ultimately led me to your site. As you can guess by now, I'm a big fan of Hakeem. The first time I saw his moves was in the NBA top 50 dvd. When I saw what he did to Robinson, my jaw dropped and I just sat there frozen. I had to rewind it over and over to analyze his footwork and how he got Robinson jumping for all of his pump fakes. Then I went out to get Hakeem's dvd. I think I've watched it over 30 times by now.

There are people that support the Rockets here, but only because of Yao. It's logical for people here to support people of the same race. However, my favorite current Rocket is actually Luis Scola. He's a total beast under the hoop. He hustles. He's totally into the team concept. The only flaw I see with him is his defense, but that's common among Europeans. I still don't get why he's so underappreciated, or why he's not popular. I already felt he was a good player before this, but my respect for him has grown even more after watching what he did to the US in the recent olympics.

I felt really sad when I found out Yao wouldn't be playing the next season. The Rockets actually had a high chance of winning it all; in fact if Yao didn't get hurt in the playoffs I'm confident that they'd beat the Lakers. To watch the team grow in terms of chemistry and team defense, and for Yao to play so well, only to see it all blow up now has me really heartbroken. Here's to hoping the team develops even more the next season, and finally go all the way after Yao comes back."

Pictures:

"None - my apologies, but NBA gear is really expensive in my country, so I haven't been able to afford any, aside from the cheapest pair of Adidas basketball shoes I can get my hands on. I've worn my pair for 6 years though, so I don't think you'd want to see that."

Thanks again to Kang for sending this in. Keep it up, Rockets fans!