Yao: ‘I don’t even know if I can play again’
The towering Houston Rockets center, China’s most recognizable athlete, told CCTV he could not predict when, or indeed if, he would fully recover from a serious ankle fracture suffered last November."I don’t know if I would join some champion team in the future," the China Daily quoted him as saying when asked about leaving a new-look Rockets team. "I don’t even know if I can play again."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s sad if this is the end.
For years, Yao Ming was excellent. He was incredibly skilled and talented, often averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds, the benchmark for elite fives.
However, Yao never took the Rockets deep in the playoffs. His massive stature lead to numerous injuries.
Yao’s greatest contribution will be spreading basketball into the lucrative Chinese market. He was, after all, the league’s first Chinese star. And the world’s most populous nation followed his every move, which was good for David Stern and the suits at league head office.
Tens of millions of Chinese watched a regular season match-up between Yao’s Rockets and Yi’s Bucks. Perhaps half a billion people would watch one of these two in the NBA Finals.
Some of those billions will aspire to play in the NBA. A few may make it. And this will be, in part, because of Yao.
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