Yao Ming announced he would miss the entire 2009-10 NBA season, and suddenly the world felt hopelessly shorter. Enter: Slavko Vranes. Amid all of the hullabaloo, Slavko couldn’t see what the big deal was. Perhaps because the Partizan center is the big deal. In fact, with Yao going under the knife, he is the second biggest deal in all professional basketball. At 7’6″ (2.29 meters)–the same height as Yao–Slavko trails only 7’9″ (2.36 m) Chinese giant and Rush Hour 3 star Sun Mingming in verticality. While Slavko doesn’t put up eye-popping numbers like Yao, his mere presence can pop plenty of eyes by itself, and with three of Partizan’s biggest stars leaving town (Tripkovic, Tepic, Velickovic), the Serbian team will be leaning even more heavily on this mammoth of a man in 2009-10. Doorways and low-hanging chandeliers beware.