Bush holds a special place with franchise
The Rockets held a moment of silence and showed a remembrance video before Saturday’s game in honor of George H.W.
Bush, who long had a relationship with the team and several former Rockets players.
Bush and Yao Ming shared mutual admiration, with Bush especially pleased his hometown team drafted a player from China and Yao taken aback when he encountered Bush’s unassuming manner.
“He was the special envoy to China before they had ambassadors,” Rockets president Tad
Brown said. “I think it meant a lot to him, not only because it was his hometown team and he was a Houston Rockets fan. He understood the world more than most. The impact that Yao represented was not lost on him. And I think they had a kindred affection. He gravitated toward Yao and then he developed that relationship with Dikembe (
Mutombo) because of similar ideas of service. It’s about serving people in the communities that need it the most.
“He was active in Yao’s charity events (after) the earthquake in Shenzhen. He was extremely active with Dikembe setting up the hospital and all the fundraisers. He was around quite a bit. He’d come to a few games a year.
Tilman ( Fertitta, Rockets owner) and I were talking about it this morning. It was a shame he could not get out and around much the last couple of years. He and Tilman were friends for a long time.”