Just got the news this afternoon that Yao Ming reportedly will be retiring. More info here at the Houston Chronicle.
Part of this isn’t a surprise, but part of it is. That’s because I thought he would at least wait until he could start training again, and with the lockout and NBA work stoppage looming for next season, he probably could have bought himself another 14-15 months before REALLY having to decide.
Perhaps after a year off and training, maybe there’s a chance he could make a comeback.
Oddly, because of the lockout, NBA.com nor any of the NBA team sites have photos of current players on their sites. So Rockets.com probably won’t have photos of Yao to commemorate his time with the team, until at least his retirement papers are officially filed with the NBA league office.
And because Yao is in China, there will probably be no press conference. It’s fitting that Yao, who never wanted to bring attention to himself, will have his career fade off into the sunset without any fanfare.
Shaquille O’Neal, who retired himself a few weeks ago, made the following statement:
“Yao will definitely be missed. He is in my mind one of the best centers ever to play. He is the one of the greatest athletes ever to come out of China, and I will miss him.”
On this page is a short video that Shaq posted telling Yao, among a few other things, “Let’s go on vacation, bro’, me and you.”
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