The next chapter in the life of former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming officially began on Wednesday as the “Associated Press” has reported that the perennial All-Star announced his retirement at a press conference in Shanghai. Looking very sharp in a black suit, black shirt and silver tie, the native of China got choked up at times as he announced that he was ending his career in the Association due to injuries. Yao told the assembled media “My past six months were an agonizing wait. I had been thinking (about my future) over and over. Today I am announcing a personal decision: ending my career as a basketball player and officially retire. But one door is closing and another one is opening.”
The 7’6″ former center is the owner of his former team in China the Shanghai Sharks, and there is speculation that he will assume the General Manager post with the club. Yao told reporters “My playing career started with the club. I hope I can do something for it.”
Yao was not only a dominant force on the hardwood; he was a pioneer as well becoming the first Asian superstar in the history of the Association. He also helped the NBA gain a huge following in China, which became even bigger after the Olympic Games were held in Beijing back in 2008. The Chinese people have become fans of other players from the NBA, including Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.
Rockets Team Owner Leslie Alexander issued a statement about the center’s retirement. He wrote “This is a sad day for me as well as the entire Houston Rockets organization. Yao Ming was a great basketball player, but he’s distinguished himself as an even better person. From the moment he arrived in Houston with unprecedented expectations, he handled himself with poise, dignity, purpose and pride well beyond his years.”