Yao Ming took part in the meeting with the Houston Rockets and free agent center Dwight Howard Sunday in Los Angeles on Skype from Beijing, China.
"We can't miss this one," Yao said in a telephone interview with FOX 26 Sports from Beijing. "As soon as (CEO) Tad Brown and (general manager) Daryl (Morey) called me I said 'of course I would love to help.'
"Dwight is a piece the Rockets require if we want to go to a championship."
And Yao said precisely that to Howard.
"We have a young team, a talented team, that has ability to reach championship level with you," Yao said he told Howard."
And Yao wanted Howard to know that he belongs in a Rockets uniform.
"I tell him Houston Rockets are a team with tradition of great centers," Yao said.
Yao said he will be in Houston on July 11 and said he would like to meet with Howard.
Considering NBA rules will not allow any free agent signing to be officially completed until July 10, Yao's schedule could work with Howard's, if he and the Rockets reach a contract agreement.
"I wish I could meet him in the next two weeks," Yao said. "I'm coming to town in two weeks."
Which would be just fine with Morey, who thought the meeting with Howard went well.
"Dwight is focused on winning championships," Morey said. "So are we.
"It's a good fit. We're the best destination for winning next year & over time. (Dwight) had questions. I think we addressed them well."
Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, who took part in the meeting with the Rockets and Howard, told FOX 26 Sports in a text message the get-together went very well for his organization.
"Meeting was great and very promising," Parsons said in his text message. "His main focus was winning and we will give him the best opportunity to do that."
NBA sources told FOX 26 Sports the meeting lasted nearly three hours.
Along with Parsons and Morey, the Rockets contingent included Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, owner Leslie Alexander, CEO Tad Brown, head coach Kevin McHale (also a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame), executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and guard James Harden.
The Rockets have already made several moves to clear the necessary cap space to sign Howard, including trading forward Thomas Robinson to Portland and waiving forward Carlos Delfino and guard Aaron Brooks.
While the Rockets were scheduled to be the first team to meet with Howard, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak did meet briefly with Howard prior to his dinner with the Rockets.
Howard will also meet with the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, who get the final meeting.