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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Slowed by injuries, Rockets center Yao retires

Yao Ming, the first major Chinese star to break into the NBA, has decided to retire after 9 star-crossed seasons with the Rockets, according to league sources.

The 30-year-old center played just 5 games over the past 2 seasons and has determined that he's not able to make a complete recovery from stress fracture in his left ankle and tendon strain.

At 7-foot-6, Yao entered the league as the No. 1 pick in the 2002 draft and became literally and figuratively the biggest symbol of the NBA's growing expansion around the world and particularly in Asia.

Yao was an eight-time NBA All-Star and in five seasons he was voted onto the league's second or third All-NBA team. He averaged 19.1 points and 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots in his career.

He came in Houston in 2002 as towering and iconic as the durable Great Wall of China, yet over the course of his NBA career Yao's image became increasingly fragile. After losing just two games due to injury in his first 3 years in the league, he was sidelined for 250 over the past 6 seasons.

Yao would have become a free agent at end of the current lockout and had spent months trying to rehabilitate his ankle for one more chance at playing. He has told his desire was to continue in Houston to play for the Rockets.

However, he didn't want to jeopardize his health for life after playing. Yao's parents were concerned enough about his welfare that they didn't want him to attempt a return to the NBA after the broken bone in his foot that was suffered in the playoffs of May 2009.

Following the birth of his daughter that same spring, Yao said: "I may only test so many times. I want to be able to run around and play with my child, not always wear a cast and use these crutches."

Slowed by injuries, Rockets center Yao retires Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Admin


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