Bush holds a spe­cial place with fran­chise

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - SPORTS SUNDAY -

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.”

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