Date: January 26, 2003
Complex says: Even if Yao never plays again, he's one of the five most important basketball players in NBA history. Um, wait, what?! More important than Charles Barkley? Yup. More important than Bob Cousy? You got it. More important than Jerry Freakin' West? Yessir. Because commercials like this one—featuring a 22-year-old Yao, who could barely piece together a sentence in English—gave the NBA a marketable star that helped them make a major mark on the country of China (and its 1 billion people) over the course of the last decade. No shots, but has your favorite player been able to do that?