He came to the team late because of contract negotiations. He was subjected to intense press scrutiny at every U.S. city he visited. And he had to learn the NBA game on the run and acquaint himself with his teammates in quick practice sessions and on the court. Yet by the end of the season, he was easily the best passer on the team and provided a defensive presence in the middle lacking since the days of the Dream. He also made two of the best commercials on television. The future is Yao.