Yao Ming: American Idol

Updated: February 7, 2003, 9:47 AM ET
By By Ric Bucher, ESPN The Magazine
As harbingers go, this is a doozy. Yao Ming is enjoying his new favorite getaway from the swirl that has engulfed him since he landed in Houston four months ago: slowly circling the Westside Tennis Club's parking lot in his week-old silver Toyota Sequoia. This is the Rockets' practice site. It's also Yao's training ground as a driver, since he has yet to earn his license.