Rockets C Yao Ming is on the shelf for the next 7-10 days with a lingering toenail injury. The Houston Chronicle’s John P. Lopez is determined to figure out who or what is responsible.

Last week, Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy committed a mortal basketball sin that took the air out of Reebok’s soles. He blamed Yao’s continued toe troubles on the shoes.

Great for Van Gundy. And if that’s what it takes for Reebok to get these sneakers right, then bravo.

Reebok’s product management team went into immediate spin, a spokesperson indicating Yao’s ATR Pump shoe (above) was indeed the one he was wearing. Only adjustments needed to be made, Reebok said.

Yao’s agent, John Huizinga, all but gave a pinky promise that it was not the shoes’ fault Yao has been put on the shelf again, saying the shoes were Yao’s “most favorite ones” and telling the Chronicle that maybe Yao was “allergic to Jeff Van Gundy.”

Huizinga’s background as a shoe expert, of course, is as stellar as his background
before he became Yao’s agent: He was Yao’s cousin’s college prof.

A recent survey of all 14-year-old boys who live in my house revealed the following regarding Piggygate.

“Why would Yao wear Reebok?” the boy said. “Nike and Adidas are so much better.”

Granted, this survey was unscientific, but my son’s credentials are impeccable. He plays basketball year-round.

He listens to hip-hop. He sags his shorts and has fine-looking toes.

It’s the Reebok folks and those on their payroll who have foot-in-mouth disease, not Van Gundy. All he did was state the obvious.