On Wednesday, Yao posted on his Facebook page the following message to his American fans, especially those in Houston:
Special thanks to my friends overseas, especially to fans in Houston. I would like to thank you for giving me great nine years during my NBA career. Nine years ago I came to Houston as a young, tall, skinny player, and the entire city and the team changed me to a grown man, not only a basketball player. I will always be with you, thank you!
In Houston, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle filed an interesting article about some of the Rockets’ front office reactions to Yao officially retiring on Wednesday.
Owner Leslie Alexander:
“It’s sad. He had such great potential. He fulfilled it, really, but we would have been a great team with him. It’s sad for him because I know he wants to play very badly. It’s sad for the Rockets.”
Rockets’ CEO Tad Brown:
“I’m still kind of in shock, actually. I can’t imagine the Rockets without Yao Ming. I’m sad. I’m really disappointed for Mr. Alexander and the franchise, but I’m hoping Yao is at peace with his decision and certainly look forward to being in his life.
“I look forward to having him be a part of the Rockets family for years to come. He’s larger than life. He’s a global icon. He’s going to continue to be in his retirement. It’s going to be exciting to see what the future holds for such an intelligent, proud man.”