Day before yesterday Chinese born NBA legend announced his retirement. “I will formally end my career,” Yao, the 7-foot-6 centre forward said. “Today is an important day for me and holds a special meaning for both my basketball career and my future,”
“I had to leave the court since I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot for the third time at the end of last year. My past six months were an agonizing wait. I had been thinking (about my future) over and over. Today I am announcing a personal decision, ending my career as a basketball player and officially retire. But one door is closing and another one is opening.”
Yao thanked his family, friends, and coaches in China and in Houston and fellow competitors such as Shaquille O’Neal “for making me a better player.”
Born on September 12 1980 in shanghai, he has been an inspiration for Chinese basketball lovers. His effect on the game of basketball is enormous. He was picked by Huston rockets as the first overall pick in 2002 NBA drafts. As the Houston Rockets’ No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA draft, Yao clearly showed that he was worth the hype. In his carrier he was picked 8 times for NBA ALL STAR games and has been named to ALL NBA team 5 times (2 time in second team and 3 time third team). He climbed up to sixth place on the Rockets’ all-time scoring list in points (9,247) and rebounds (4,494) and trailed only Hakeem Olajuwon in blocks. Yao was the leading scorer of the 2006 FIBA World Championships. As of the 2010–11 NBA season, he was the tallest player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft. 6 in). He carried the Chinese flag during the opening ceremony of 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yao has been a transformational player for this league. He is china’s best known athletes. He is a source of enormous pride for the people of china and for the people of Chinese descent in United States. His rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, and he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. He is iconic in china, he is iconic in United States, and he is iconic in whole world. He is committed to the growth of basketball.
His nine year carrier has lots of memorable moments. His carrier was also full of injuries and today it’s only because of injuries that he retired from the league. And after playing 244 games in his first three NBA seasons, Yao Ming played only 242 over the next five, until finally his body forced him out of the game for good. At only 30 years old, he could have had a longer run had injuries not cut him down. The injuries started in his feet in 2006 and worked their way upward, to his knees and then to his back. Combining skill and charisma, he was the ideal ambassador to bridge the NBA and CHINA. He is a great humanitarian and a socialist. He is always ready to help the people of china. Yao is one of China’s most recognizable athletes.
What Yao Ming meant to the NBA
Bryant: Even through an injury-riddled career that prompted his retirement, Yao Ming’s legacy leaves a definitive imprint on the NBA.
Stern: “Yao Ming has been a transformational player and a testament to the globalization of our game. His dominant play and endearing demeanour along with his extensive humanitarian efforts have made him an international fan favourite and provided an extraordinary bridge between basketball fans in the United States and China.”
Walton: ”Against all odds, Yao Ming became a truly special and unique player who, without the benefit of great coaching, without the opportunity to play in an environment that would allow him to blossom, Yao Ming was able to build a game and a life for himself based on superb human values and personal characteristics that make us all very proud and more than a bit jealous.”
Shaquille O’Neal, NBA legend: ”One time he had me on the post, and he turned around to shoot a fade away, and I jumped as high as I could and he still had about three feet left. I was like ‘dang this dude is tall.’ And the first time I played against him I was like, ‘OK, you know what, he’s a big guy. You got to take it to his head, and I went with a little oopsie-doop finger-roll, and he blocked my first three shots.” “He was very agile. He could play inside, he could play outside, and if he didn’t have those injuries he could’ve been up there in the top five centers to ever play the game.”
“He is truly an iconic figure and personality for the ages, our world is a better place because of Yao Ming, and he’s just getting started.”
We wish him a great second inning in his life. You sure will be missed Yao.