EARTH—The entire world population confirmed Friday that Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is the greatest athlete in the history of sports and a glowing symbol of what hardworking citizens may become if they remain loyal to their government.

Yao Ming officially averages 84 points per basketball game and has a shooting percentage of .9999998, Chinese basketball officials said. Furthermore, Yao Ming is perfectly healthy and, in fact, cannot be injured. Yao Ming is also a universally acknowledged beacon of humility and respect, and on the exceedingly rare occasion when he does miss a shot, he no doubt does so on purpose, selflessly ensuring that his lesser American teammates feel better about their own lackluster shooting percentages.

Again, Yao Ming has suffered no physical harm, and his condition is like unto that of his home nation: inviolate, resilient, and eternally renewed. His left foot is also fine.

Luminaries in the field of basketball, including legends Pat Riley and Red Auerbach, must surely opine with great fervor and intensity that teammate Tracy McGrady should always pass the ball to Yao Ming, as Yao Ming's basketball skills are monumentally better than McGrady's. Yao Ming is also glorious. Additionally, Yao Ming is the light. Yao Ming is the best!

"Like every professional basketball player, I grew up watching and idolizing Yao Ming," former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan has surely said. "His play reminds me of the ancient Cao Cao poem, 'Walking From Xiamen And Looking At The Blue Sea.' The poem ends, 'The path of the sun and moon, seems to come from within. / The splendid Milky Way, seems to come from inside. / Oh, I am so lucky, to be singing my song!'"

"To me, the poem means that Yao Ming's excellent play spans the entire universe and radiates such sheer beauty that mere mortals will never be able to comprehend it," Jordan would certainly add. "We are lucky to be able to experience the magnificent play of Yao Ming in our lifetime. I now admit that I retired because I feared facing him in competition."

On Friday, NBA commissioner David Stern will doubtless call a special press conference to say the following: "Everything about Yao Ming is amazing. His jumping is amazing. His shooting is amazing. His ability to make those around him better is amazing. This league would collapse without him, and we thank China for this precious, precious gift!"

Commissioner Stern will not address the scandalous rumors of an injury to Yao Ming, because all people know that such rumors are laughable and could not be true.

"Yao Ming's play," Stern shall continue, "is better than Shaquille O'Neal's, Magic Johnson's, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's, Pete "Pistol Man" Maravich's, and Dwyane Wade's combined. Also Kobe Bryant's and everyone else's. Tracy McGrady should pass the ball to Yao Ming at all times for these very reasons."

Stern's comments will meet with no argument from those reporters gathered at the press conference, because those statements are pure and true.

Yao Ming, who at 28 will soon be the only active player ever to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, learned to play basketball when he was 3 years old after finding an untamed cobra in the mountains, a cobra of ancient legend whose very breath was poisonous. The cobra was taller than a full-grown tree, and beat Yao in one-on-one basketball competition every day for 19 straight years. Then, the very night before their final game, Yao prayed deeply to his ancestors and ingested more than 20 pounds of Yu Wan Mei fish by-products, and behold! Yao grew three feet while he slept.

Yao beat the cobra 11-0 the following morning, beheaded it with a great spear, fashioned a graceful sailing vessel from its colossal body, and rode this vessel across the Pacific Ocean to play professional basketball in the United States. There, Yao Ming became leader of the Rockets after receiving the Mandate of Heaven from previous team captain Hakeem Olajuwon.

It is worth repeating, sources confirmed, that Tracy McGrady should always pass the ball to Yao Ming.

"My dream is to one day coach Yao Ming," believes Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, echoing the obvious thoughts of every NBA coach. "I look at the players I have on my team now, and I fear that without Yao we will simply be an empty boat floating further out to sea while the NBA championship trophy floats further and further inland."

Yao Ming will win the next 15 NBA titles.

"If I were a smart man instead of an egotistical, stupid man, incapable of putting the success of the whole before my own selfish needs, I would always pass the ball to Yao," disgraceful, and genuinely injured, teammate Tracy McGrady must tell reporters. "I am simply someone who is unable to genuflect before those who have more ability than myself. And for this, I will die a lonely and pathetic death."

"Yao Ming!" irrepressible top basketball sources once again exulted of their own spontaneous volition. "Yao Ming! Yao Ming! Yao Ming!"鱼