Chinese Express Gratitude, Sadness at Yao’s Impending Retirement

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 4:20 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese fans of Yao Ming are expressing gratitude and sadness ahead of his expected announcement next week that he is retiring from American professional basketball.

The 2.25-meter Yao boosted the National Basketball Association's popularity in China and Asia by excelling at the highest level after the Houston Rockets made him the top overall pick in the 2002 draft.

The 30-year-old missed all of the 2009-'10 season after breaking his left foot in the 2009 playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Online commentators say they are sad Yao will not play in next year's Olympics, while others expressed gratitude and said they are proud of his achievements.