Chinese Star Yao Ming Retires from NBA

Posted July 8th, 2011 at 7:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Star Chinese center Yao Ming is reported on the verge of retiring from the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets after continuous struggles in recent years with foot and ankle injuries.

The 30-year-old Yao, who stands 2.3 meters, missed all of the 2009-10 season after breaking his left foot in the 2009 playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Rockets had planned to limit his minutes last season to keep him healthy, but Yao was found to have a stress fracture in his left ankle that knocked him out for the season after only five games.

Yao, the top overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, was an eight-time NBA All-Star, and he leaves the game with a career average of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, with a field-goal percentage of 52.4.

Though he never reached his full potential on the court, Yao left an indelible mark on the NBA as one of the central figures in helping the league expand its popularity around the world.

Yao's contract with Houston had expired at the end of this past season.

In May, Yao had said his surgically repaired left ankle was healing properly and he wanted to remain with the Rockets. But it became obvious he could not play with any confidence that he would not get injured again.