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Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming Retires

Jonathan Ferrey, Getty Images

The biggest story in the NBA today, is the reported retirement of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has the details of Yao’s retirement:

The veteran center informed the Rockets, the league office in New York and NBA China of his decision to leave the game within the past 48 hours, sources said.

Jeff Gross, Getty Images

Ming only played in 5 games for the Rockets last season after a tendon strain in his left leg left him unable to play. He also completely missed the 2009-2010 season due to injury.

Yao’s most complete season was in 2003-2004.  He played in all 82 games, averaged 17.5 points per game with 9 rebounds per game and a 52% shooting percentage from the field.

For his career, Yao averaged 19 points per game with 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.  His career shooting percentage was 52.4% and he shot 83.3% from the free throw line.

When Yao was drafted by the Rockets in 2002, he took the city of Houston by storm.  Houston rolled out the red carpet for Yao, and the Rockets became the China’s favorite NBA team.

The Rockets since 2002 have had international sponsors and NBA Commissioner David Stern has credited the NBA’s growth in China to Yao Ming.

As part of the NBA’s agreement with China when Yao was drafted, he had to be allowed to play for China’s international team.  Many critics said the extra wear and team on Yao during the early part of his career contributed to his injury problems.

With Yao Ming’s retirement he leaves a mixed legacy in Houston and the NBA.

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