Yahoo Sports reports that the Rockets' Chinese Big Man is calling it quits.
Yao Ming is quitting basketball. The eight-time All-Star who averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds per game was an enigma when it came to the NBA game. Now multiple stress fractures in his feet have forced him to hang up his sneakers instead of attempting yet another comeback.
According to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Yao Ming has decided to retire from the NBA, league sources tell Y! Sports. He informed the league office within past 48 hours. Yao hasn't been able to recover fully from numerous operations. He is one of the seminal figures in globalization of the NBA and basketball.
Ming, who is seen as almost a God in China (and will be solely responsible for any NBA that ever moves or starts there), never quite lived up to expectations in America. He was a likeable guy, but he never seemed to show the power, aggression and killer instinct that seemed to be a trait of the league's greatest stars. It just wasn't in him. Which might be why he's opting to retire, than go to a contender and come off the bench for one more chance at a title.
But you also can't question the toughness of a 7 footer who has had multiple stress fractures in his foot. One more rebound could send him back to the operating table.
Yao was the No. 1 overall pick by the Rockets in 2002. And will always hold a soft spot in my heart for his appearance in this commercial:
Read more on Yao's retirement here.