Governor toasts Shanghai with Yao Ming

9:13 AM, Apr 13, 2013   |    comments
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SHANGHAI -- The Tao of Jerry meets the Yao of Ming.  Or something like that.

Gov. Jerry Brown and his delegation of California business leaders traipsing through China toasted their final night in this eastern port city with its most famous native son, former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.

The 7'6" athlete is now retired and the owner of the Napa-based Yao Family Wines.  And the governor is known to like a nice glass of wine.

Brown and Yao, along with First Lady Anne Gust Brown, spent about 20 minutes chatting aboard a converted sloop docked on the Huangpu River in Shanghai Saturday night.  The hoopster briefly made remarks to the delegates and their guests, and then disembarked before the California crowd was treated to a two hour evening tour of the iconic Shanghai skyline.

The two men also exchanged gifts, with Yao giving the governor a 2009 vintage of his family's cabernet sauvignon, and Brown giving the Chinese celebrity a framed vanity California license plate with the word "Dreamer" imprinted on it.

Yao's presence on the Shanghai waterfront caused a pretty big stir among locals, many of whom saw him get on to the boat before the chat with California's not-so-noticed governor.

They talked about Kobe Bryant's recent injury.  Which led Brown to ask Yao if he'd ever gotten injured.

"That's why I retired," said the giant basketball player.

The delegation heads to Guangzhou on Sunday, with Brown and our trio of traveling journalists stopping first in the city of Nanjing with another ride on high-speed rail.


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