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'Retirement' category archive

More emotional words for Yao from Rockets executives

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
by John

The Rockets did a great job of posting letters on their Web site that some Rockets execs and owner Leslie Alexander wrote to Yao thanking him for his time as a Rocket. I bet it would be hard for anyone to get through reading these letters without getting a little teary-eyed. I’m sure Yao would.

Check ’em out here, but make sure you have some Kleenex nearby. All of us would be lucky to receive letters from colleagues that are anything close to these when we retire.

A note from Yao to his Houston fans; Rocket reactions about Yao’s retirement

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
by John

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.”

Photos & transcript from Yao’s retirement announcement today in Shanghai

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
by John

Yao Ming made it official today in Shanghai today that he is retiring. You can read the transcript below, and check out all the photos from the press conference by clicking here.

In a surprising twist given the strictness from the NBA regarding teams communicating with its players during the lockout, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey attended the press conference. There was speculation that even in retirement, the Rockets could not speak with Yao, even after he officially retired. It’s good to see the NBA lightened up a bit for this important occasion, with even David Stern wishing Yao well through a statement.

July 20th, 2011 - Yao Ming sheds a tear at his retirement announcement in Shanghai

July 20th, 2011 - Yao Ming with wife Ye Li, baby Amy, and Rockets GM Daryl Morey

July 20th, 2011 - Yao Ming with former translator Colin Pine

Esteemed Director Li Yuyi, distinguished guests, friends in the media.

Good afternoon!

Today is an important day for me. It is a day of special significance for both my past professional career and future endeavors.

At the end of last year, I once again had a stress fracture in my left foot and had to sit out of basketball. Since then, like many friends who cared about me, I waited and hoped that I could return. It was also a frustrating period, many thoughts crossed my mind. Today, I am ready to announce to everyone my decision: I will end my athletic career and formally retire from the game of basketball.

At this moment, looking towards the future and looking back through the past, my heart is full of gratitude.

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Post article about Yao’s influence; YaoMania quote included

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
by John

Reporter Gene Wang of the Washington Post contacted YaoMingMania the other day about an article he was putting together regarding Yao’s influence on basketball and the NBA. The article went live a few hours ago, which you can check out here.

Yao may not have retired after all. Stay tuned

Friday, July 8th, 2011
by John

Through our source Raymond in China, we have learned that Erik Zhang Mingji of “Team Yao” said today that Yao Ming has not yet decided to retire.

In addition, Lin Dalong, a Houston Rockets marketing manager who works in China, stated in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency said that the Houston Rockets had not received formal notice from Yao Ming or Team Yao about his retirement.

So there is a possibility that Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, who broke the story earlier today, could be wrong. If so, this could be one of the most embarrassingly incorrect sports stories we have seen in a long time since all of the news networks and social media have been buzzing today about Yao’s alleged retirement today.

For the latest news updates on this story, make sure to follow us at Twitter.com/yaomingmania or Facebook.com/yaomania

Yao reportedly to retire

Friday, July 8th, 2011
by John

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.”

Here is a good tribute from Yahoo Sports’ Kelly Dwyer, and another one from Truehoop’s Henry Abbott.

As far as the future of YaoMingMania.com is concerned, we plan to continue running this site as always because of Yao’s influence that transcends sports. If you want to keep tabs on Yao news in the future without having to revisit this site, make sure to follow us on Twitter.com/yaomingmania and on Facebook.com/yaomania.