Center Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, the top overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, has decided to retire after struggling with several foot and ankle injuries that have stretched out since 2006. The seven-foot-six center from Shanghai, China announced to the NBA and to the Houston Rockets that he will be retiring from the game, having been an influential part of the league’s expansion across the world as a central figure.
His career stats as a player were astonishing for his position. Having attended eight All-Star games, a career average of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks per game with a field goal percentage of 52.4, Yao was an immovable object in the paint, and an incredible defender against dribble penetration. His every-play mentality combined with his fighting spirit made him one of the most talked about centers who ever played the game.
This sudden news will be absolutely devastating to the Houston Rockets who, in the draft this year, acquired Marcus Morris and Nikola Mirotic in the first round, using these picks to grab forwards to assist Yao. With Yao gone, the team will have lost their star athlete, leaving extremely large shoes to fill.
Yao, you will be missed.
Tags: Basketball, Houston Rockets