The Importance of Yao

When Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming announced his retirement the other day, the NBA lost another of its dying breed, the big man. With Shaq announcing his retirement earlier this summer, Yao’s shocking decision effectively leaves Orlando Center Dwight Howard as the NBA’s last true “Big Man.” Yao, the top overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, was a 7’6″, 310 lb. dominate inside player.Click the pic to enlarge.

Yao Ming
Injuries cut short the budding career of Yao Ming, the NBA's first Chinese superstar

He was an 8 time NBA All Star, a two time member of the All-NBA Second Team and a three time member of the All-NBA Third Team. But more importantly, Yao brought the popularity of NBA basketball to China. What was your favorite Yao moment? Mine had to be when he scored 20 points during a game in his rookie year, prompting Charles Barkley to make good on a bet with Kenny Smith and “kiss his ass.”

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