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Stars together again make it a night to remember


08:21, July 04, 2013

NBA star Tracy McGrady, right, stands beside his former Houston Rockets' teammate Yao Ming at a charity basketball game between the NBA All-star team and Chinese National team organized by the Yao Foundation in Beijing, July 1, 2013. ( Cui Meng)

The memories came flooding back on a night to remember for former Houston Rockets players at the Yao Foundation Charity Game on Monday.

When 18,000 fans, packed into the MasterCard Center chanted in majestic unison "Huan Mai Di" and "Huan Yao Ming" (bring on Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming) during the second half, the memories of another time and another place, battling for Houston's cause flashed through his mind.

"It reminded me of the past days, our glorious moments," Yao said after coaching the US star team to victory over the Chinese national squad, 61-58.

"Although we've long passed our prime and can't play on court together, the reunion of the old Rockets under the same roof was an emotional moment," said Yao, who invited four of his ex-teammates to play in the game.

McGrady, who is on a exhibition tour across China, made a last-minute decision to join Yao's event in Beijing and served as Yao's assistant coach on the bench.

The star-studded roster, included Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola.

The golden era for the Rockets seems to have disappeared with Yao's retirement. World Peace, Lowry and Scola have moved to different teams and T-Mac has been injured.

But the fans were not complaining.

"To see them together is incredible. It was a heart-warming moment," Song Wenzhong, a Rockets diehard said.

The stars acknowledged that Yao's charity game was a special event.

"Yes, it was fun to have the chance to see Yao and all the old guys again. It was a good reunite and it's for a great cause and so that made it even better," said World Peace.

But Yao was looking to the future.

"It feels warm inside but what has gone is gone, we all should move on."

World Peace said he would love to play in in China if Yao's club, the Shanghai Sharks, gives him a contract.

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