Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Yao Ming, the bridge between China and NBA, retires

Rockets’ Yao Ming has decided to retire from the NBA, league sources tell Y! Sports. He informed the league office within past 48 hours.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mr. International is done.

Reports indicate that Yao Ming has retired from the NBA due to lingering foot problems. Sadly, the Chinese post barely got off injured-reserve the last few years.

In his prime, Yao could play. The first overall pick in the 2002 draft was a regular at the league’s mid-season classic, the All-Star game. While his Houston Rockets struggled in the playoffs, Yao always stuffed the stat-sheet with scoring averages of 20 points per game.

His legacy will always be China, though. Yao was the main reason the NBA penetrated and profited from the lucrative Chinese market.

Yao’s greatest moment may have been an exhibition match between his Rockets and Yi’s Milwaukee Bucks. Hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens watched this pre-season contest, confirming Commissioner David Stern’s hunch that the league’s future was in Asia. 

Other Chinese basketball players will follow Yao to the NBA. And the NBA will follow Yao back to China.

This bridge Yao created between China and the NBA will stand for years to come. His influence and legacy is only just starting.

Oly Sandor.

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