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luis3ep
07-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Rockets' Yao Ming has decided to retire from the NBA, league sources tell Y! Sports. He informed the league office within the past 48 hours.

from @WojYahooNBA

Hicks
07-08-2011, 01:25 PM
:( Such a sad ending to his career.

Ozwalt72
07-08-2011, 01:26 PM
I wish his body held up. So skilled.

Young
07-08-2011, 01:33 PM
So sad. I wish the league had more legit big men like Yao too. So few of them left.

Major Cold
07-08-2011, 01:35 PM
Too bad. I really thought he was going to pull through and at least play 20 mpg.

Heisenberg
07-08-2011, 01:36 PM
Most important, did Houston just get a huge amount of cap space?

ksuttonjr76
07-08-2011, 01:37 PM
Sad...but that's one less talented center that Hibbert has to worry about.

Really?
07-08-2011, 01:38 PM
This guy was really really good when he was at the top of his game... on offense and defense... sucks that injuries hurt him so much...

Doddage
07-08-2011, 01:39 PM
Was a fun player to watch, for sure. Wish he didn't get injured so much. With a healthy Yao, I think the Rockets could have beat the Lakers in the 09 playoffs.

LetsTalkPacers
07-08-2011, 01:39 PM
Im not goona act all sad about it. It was a long drawn out thing. Shaq should have retired 2 years ago, as should had Yao. When you have big names like them, you can make good money off the court.

Ozwalt72
07-08-2011, 01:39 PM
Most important, did Houston just get a huge amount of cap space?

No. He was expiring I believe.

Ozwalt72
07-08-2011, 01:45 PM
For some perspective, Yao is 30. (Would be 31 before the start of next season)

He only played about 6 seasons worth of games, was in the league for 9 years.

Heisenberg
07-08-2011, 01:46 PM
Must be tough needing the offseasons to rest and recuperate and not being able to tell your country no to their national team.

Kstat
07-08-2011, 01:47 PM
Yao won one playoff series in his career, and it was against Greg Oden.

Some symbolism there, I think....

xBulletproof
07-08-2011, 01:47 PM
Sucks for Yao. He deserved better.

That said ..... YAY FOR ME!!!! On NBA 2K12 my 6'3 replica of myself wont have to try to shoot over a person tall enough to effect a topographic map. My life as an NBA PG just got easier.

MyFavMartin
07-08-2011, 01:51 PM
JVG said he's the nicest guy in the NBA. Big props for that recognition.

ChristianDudley
07-08-2011, 01:52 PM
Yao will be greatly missed on the court. I just hope his foot eventually does heal right for him as that is the most important thing for him anyway.

LetsTalkPacers
07-08-2011, 01:53 PM
JVG said he's the nicest guy in the NBA. Big props for that recognition.
How can he be nicer than a guy named Metta World Peace

RLeWorm
07-08-2011, 01:54 PM
that sucks, he was a really skilled center. gonna miss him

BillS
07-08-2011, 01:55 PM
How can he be nicer than a guy named Metta World Peace

I never Metta World Peace I didn't like...

On topic, sorry for Yao.

wintermute
07-08-2011, 01:59 PM
Most important, did Houston just get a huge amount of cap space?

As Ozwalt said, Yao's contract was expiring anyway. It does mean that Houston's cap space would be freed up to go after other players.

They're at $47m, compared to $37m for us. Would depend on the cap level.


Must be tough needing the offseasons to rest and recuperate and not being able to tell your country no to their national team.

Different priorities. Yao has always valued his national team commitments, perhaps even over his NBA commitments. There's a reason that he was the public face of the Beijing Olympics. He's beloved in China.

Day-V
07-08-2011, 02:04 PM
"Can I write check?"

ballism
07-08-2011, 02:05 PM
Different priorities. Yao has always valued his national team commitments, perhaps even over his NBA commitments. There's a reason that he was the public face of the Beijing Olympics. He's beloved in China.

China kind of blackmailed him into it, though. Wasn't as bad as Soviet players, or North Korean guys. But it wasn't exactly a free will thing.

CableKC
07-08-2011, 02:06 PM
Sucks for Yao. He deserved better.

That said ..... YAY FOR ME!!!! On NBA 2K12 my 6'3 replica of myself wont have to try to shoot over a person tall enough to effect a topographic map. My life as an NBA PG just got easier.
Just do what I did on My Player on 2k11......make yourself a 6'7" PG and that won't be a problem.;)

bphil
07-08-2011, 02:15 PM
Let's trade Granger for him!!

wintermute
07-08-2011, 02:21 PM
China kind of blackmailed him into it, though. Wasn't as bad as Soviet players, or North Korean guys. But it wasn't exactly a free will thing.

How would you know that?

When Dirk plays for the German NT, is the German government blackmailing him? Ditto for Ginobili, or Scola, or any other non-US player.

Is it just the Communist stereotype? China has been anything but Communist except in name for a long time.

makaveli
07-08-2011, 02:26 PM
Sucks....seemed like a really really good guy. And not a bad player.

vnzla81
07-08-2011, 02:44 PM
Sad but at least he got to be in the top of the mountain for few years unlike Oden and a bunch of players.

ballism
07-08-2011, 03:21 PM
How would you know that?

When Dirk plays for the German NT, is the German government blackmailing him? Ditto for Ginobili, or Scola, or any other non-US player.

Is it just the Communist stereotype? China has been anything but Communist except in name for a long time.

You've missed a ton of Yao stories over the years.

sam kaiserblade
07-08-2011, 03:50 PM
Just because he is retiring doesnt mean he wont play again. Didn't Jonathan Bender come back with the Knicks a few years ago? Yao is still young.

xBulletproof
07-08-2011, 04:43 PM
Just do what I did on My Player on 2k11......make yourself a 6'7" PG and that won't be a problem.;)

I can't. I make him my exact size. 6'3 and 210.

Its a strange compulsion or something.

tikitomoka
07-08-2011, 04:53 PM
How would you know that?

When Dirk plays for the German NT, is the German government blackmailing him? Ditto for Ginobili, or Scola, or any other non-US player.

Is it just the Communist stereotype? China has been anything but Communist except in name for a long time.
are we ignoring the internet bans, unlawful arrests, and human rights violations?

PR07
07-08-2011, 04:54 PM
Sad to hear, but at least Yao had a pretty good run there. It's just hard for someone that big to avoid injury problems.

wintermute
07-08-2011, 05:14 PM
are we ignoring the internet bans, unlawful arrests, and human rights violations?

There are a lot of nominal democracies with those things too. But I suspect any further discussion should take place in another forum.

ballism
07-08-2011, 05:38 PM
All 'communist' countries were set up as nominal democracies, if you go that route (?).
The topic is exactly human rights violations and social/political atmosphere.
Anyway, yes, this is probably not the forum for that stuff. You may want to google about Yao and CBA (chinese basketball association) for some stories, if you are really interested in the difference between Yao and Dirk situations. There's been plenty over the last ten years, starting since before he joined the NBA.

SycamoreKen
07-08-2011, 08:53 PM
Sorry about Yao having to step down. The league will be worse for it.

The real question is, do the Rockets now ditch the uniforms and layout they put together to go over big in China?

imawhat
07-08-2011, 09:32 PM
That's too bad.

All I can think about is that playoff series where he ruined his foot but refused to come out of the game. That probably ended his career.

joeco
07-08-2011, 09:32 PM
this is giant smoke screen imo. this puts no pressure on Yao to heal and boosts his price the day he feels hes ready. he saves face and makes more money. smart business

Frostwolf
07-08-2011, 09:38 PM
When Dirk plays for the German NT, is the German government blackmailing him? Ditto for Ginobili, or Scola, or any other non-US player.

the obligation that the government put on yao to play for them cannot be compared to germany and dirk. in many asian countries, the pressure to "serve the nation" so to speak is much, much greater. it's actually quite incomparable. for most US players, team USA would be something nice to participate in, but in no way would they jeopardise their own careers to play.

on the other hand, for example, you won't ever see korean soccer players turning down a callup to a national team to "rest" or "recover from injury" or "prepare for free agency." sometimes, it's not because they don't want to rest, or recover, or prepare for whatever, but because the consequences of NOT playing are numerous and often very detrimental.

i imagine this would be even more of the case in china, where government-sponsored nationalistic pressure is even greater than that of korea.

Kemo
07-09-2011, 12:54 AM
China kind of blackmailed him into it, though. Wasn't as bad as Soviet players, or North Korean guys. But it wasn't exactly a free will thing.

I wouldn't necessarily say China "blackmailed" Yao , persay ...

More like , put extreme pressure on him and made him feel obligated..

Almost like the mob making you an offer you can't refuse.. but probably to a much lesser degree ..lol

I am sure Yao enjoyed playing for his national team, but that extra milage surely did a number on his already fragile feet..





.

AesopRockOn
07-09-2011, 02:27 AM
A nice write up (http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/30896/yao-ming-means-a-lot) from Henry Abbott.



The topic we covered in the most depth was his childhood, or lack of it. In prepping for the interview, I had learned Yao had been subjected to a relentless brand of soul-crushing autocratic sports star training. His days had been dreary and repetitious as long as he could remember. It still blows my mind that he could not recall ever having played basketball on a playground, for fun. (Later, Brook Larmer's book "Operation Yao Ming" (http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/676/operation-yao-ming) would suggest his tall, athletic parents had been united in no small part to produce an athlete like him. Whether that's true or not, he certainly was treated as a national asset.)
And now that word is injuries have robbed Yao of the second half of his career (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6749511), much as an obligation to his country robbed him of much of his childhood, it's easy to feel bad for Yao.

But it's also easy to predict plenty of sincere happiness for him. He has a delightful and refreshing gift for connecting with people, for finding the good. He has faced big challenges, such as the loss of a childhood -- or Shaquille O'Neal, for that matter -- with a smile. Hard to believe he won't be able to handle retirement -- he has handled far tougher.

pacer4ever
07-09-2011, 03:12 AM
I have a life size poster of Yao it is pretty awesome it is made from this picture

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f152/sed04/act_yao_ming.jpg

ballism
07-09-2011, 05:07 AM
More like , put extreme pressure on him and made him feel obligated..


Idk the perfect word for it. It's more than just feeling obligated though.

Remember Wang Zhizhi. The guy was branded traitor by Chinese military officials for taking the summer off. His passport expired and he couldn't get a new one for years.
He basically spent 4 or 5 years in exile because he was afraid of China revoking his permit to leave the country if he returned.
There were even talks of court martial.
Yao's situation is slightly different because Yao has never been an army member (I think) so he couldn't be court martialed. But you get the picture.

If I want to come to NBA, all I have to do is get a US visa which is a mere formality unless I have criminal record.
If Yao, Wang or Yi wants to come to NBA, for him the much bigger thing is permission to leave China. That permission can be revoked.
There were stories over the years of Yao fearing for his relatives in China / ability to return home / ability to leave in case he refused.

Granted, those fears must have reduced over the years as Yao status and influence grew. Last year Yao even criticized Chinese basketball association for short term approach with Chinese basketball. He wouldn't have dared in 2005.

Since86
07-12-2011, 04:31 PM
The article is from Grantland.com, which is basically Bill Simmons' site, so most of the writers use his formate with footnotes. Instead of having them at the end, I've placed the footnotes in parentheses, and put them in red text, so you don't have to scroll down to read the footnote, then scroll back up and find your spot.

If the footnote formate isn't any good, I can make suggested changes later, or an admin can do it if they'd like.


<HGROUP class=" iepp_hgroup">
The Legacy of Yao

Examining the career of a once-in-a-generation player

</HGROUP><CITE sizset="13" sizcache="5">By Jonathan Abrams (http://www.grantland.com/search/_/query/jonathan-abrams)</CITE>
<CITE sizset="13" sizcache="5"></CITE><TIME class=" iepp_time" pubdate datetime="2011-7-12">POSTED JULY 12, 2011

</TIME>Jeff Van Gundy is already concerned. Hours after news leaked of Yao Ming's retirement from the NBA, Van Gundy predicts Yao's play on the court might eventually be forgotten, that the original difficult transition Yao made look so easy would be downplayed and that his contribution to the league would be categorized in terms of global dollars and not his influence on the Houston Rockets.

"People are saying he was pretty good," says Van Gundy, who coached Yao after his rookie season in Houston for four seasons.<SUP id=reffoot1 sizset="18" sizcache="5">1 (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6760779/the-legacy-yao?view=print#footnote1)</SUP> (Van Gundy was miffed that the NBA lockout prohibited league employees, such as members of the Rockets' organization, from commenting on Yao's career. He contrasted it with the NBA's allowing Miami Heat employees to attend Chris Bosh's recent wedding. "If you're going to make an exception for a wedding, you can certianly see the value of making an exception when a guy prematurely retires due to injury," Van Gundy said. "We can atleast pause and reflect on his contribution to the game." In the absence of officials talk, Van Gundy has become the unofficial spokesperson for Yaho since Yahoo reported his retirement. It should be noted that the silence will be lifted once the retirement is official. A news conference is scheduled for July 20.) "No, he was dominant. He could play. You could make the case he didn't do it for long enough to be considered an all-time great. But this guy was dominant when he played. In his age group, he was the best center," Van Gundy then pauses and offers the one qualifier as large as Yao that will ultimately follow him into retirement: "When healthy."

"People forget what kind of pressure he was on when he came over here, not totally comfortable with the language to start off with and being the first pick in the draft," Van Gundy continues. "People hoped he would fail. Some of the then-Rocket players wanted to trade the pick for Lamar Odom. The guy was under enormous pressure. He handled every bit of it with grace and wisdom, and he handled it flawlessly."

It is easy to forget the circumstances that surrounded Yao's entry in the NBA. He did not participate in training camp as a rookie and instead fulfilled commitments to China's national team. He had to be coaxed into dunking because he did not want to show up his opponents. He went scoreless in his NBA debut. Eventually, the world and the NBA became accustomed to Yao scoring with a deft touch, with either hand, from either side of the basket, from enough angles to fill up the pages of a geometry book. The fans he won over with this multifaceted offensive arsenal and gentle demeanor also became accustomed to Yao's injuries, his frail feet, and, through the years, the cruel reality that a body seemingly tailor-made to play center could not withstand the rigors of the position. Yao played in just 250 regular-season games over the past six seasons. As the injuries piled, he spent less and less time around the team's training facility, already distancing himself from the game and the inevitable realization that he would soon be forced to leave it behind. "He was in and out," says Shane Battier, a former teammate. "It was tough for him to be around. Knowing Yao, I think he felt he let his team down when he couldn't stay healthy. Which was absurd."

We are left to contemplate the career of a once-in-a-generation player who played only about 70 games in four seasons. While sifting through it, here are a few things to consider.

He connected the NBA to China in a way no other player could

While recalling the Rockets preseason trips to China, Battier says, "You understand what the Beatles felt like in Liverpool. It was hysteria. By sheer volume of people, he has to be the most recognizable person in the entire world. It was a lot of fun, and Yao did an unbelievable job with the pressures of 1.2 billion people behind him. It's something I'll tell my grandkids about."

The NBA had long targeted China as a fertile ground to expand the game's global interest. NBA commissioner David Stern appointed the league's first Beijing-based employee in 1990. Players began traveling there to host clinics in 1997. Still, the full potential of the league's popularity there went untapped until Yao's 2002 debut. It is difficult imaging Stern manufacturing a better ambassador than Yao. "The NBA got really lucky with Yao Ming, there's no question about that," says Clayton Dube, an expert on economic and political change in China and the associate director of the University of Southern California's U.S.-China Institute. Dube added that Yao's arrival came at an opportune time, along with the increasing influence of the Internet (allowing fans in China to vote for All-Star teams) and the rise of satellite television. "What's striking to me is the powerful impact Yao made here in America," he says. "That shouldn't be overlooked. He just really exemplified all that could be good in a person. That made a big difference."

Yao drove television ratings in China and fostered several international business sponsorships. Eventually, Shaquille O'Neal, Jose Calderon, Baron Davis, and others signed deals with China-based companies. Yao should
have earned a commission on those deals.

"Jordan definitely was popular in China, and LeBron definitely is now, too," says Steven W. Lewis of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Houston's Rice University. "The difference is Yao can speak in Chinese." Lewis briefly consulted with the Rockets on how to market Yao before he arrived. He imagines it will be difficult for the NBA to sustain as deep a relationship with fans in China now that the Yao has retired from play. "The level of the NBA's penetration in China is already significant," Dube says. "But I would expect a fallout, now that you won't have the default, 'How are the Houston Rockets doing?' perspective."

Yao was not just tall, he was good

Despite his well-documented and extensive injuries, Yao scored the most points of any center between 2002 and 2009. The Lakers might have been out one of their championships had Yao stayed healthy in 2009. Shortly after Yao guided the Rockets to what would be his only playoff win in a series against the Portland Trail Blazers, he dominated the opening game of a second series against the Lakers with 28 points and 10 rebounds (Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum had a combined 24 points). In the third game of the series, team officials diagnosed Yao with a sprained ankle. Further tests revealed a fracture. He would play in only five more games the rest of his career. "This guy was a great worker and he refined his game so much in the low post," Van Gundy says. "This guy's preparation to play was second to none than anybody I've ever coached."

When asked if Yao should be in the Hall of Fame, Van Gundy, who does not hide his bias, said, "Without question. I don't care if you do it as a player or as a contributor or make up a new category for what he goes in as."

Yao could have dominated the NBA from around 2007 to 2014

Think about it. The best perimeter players Yao played with were Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Tracy McGrady. Francis' career sputtered fast, and he last played professionally in China (his popularity there no doubt aided by being a former teammate of Yao), Mobley's current careers plans included opening a medical marijuana dispensary, and McGrady, despite his early brilliance, was always a phenomenally gifted scorer whose poor work habits tanked his great potential. In Yao's third season, the last that would see him play in at least 80 games, the Rockets cycled through 23 players because of injuries. Still, with Yao and McGrady healthy, they finished 51-31. Imagine if Yao could have been paired with any number of dominant wing players. When healthy, Yao had no peer. Dwight Howard is by far the best remaining center, but in nine head-to-head matchups, Yao's Rockets went 7-2 against Howard's Orlando Magic. In the meetings, Yao averaged 23.6 points and 10.4 rebounds to Howard's 12.2 and 9.8 rebounds.

His retirement highlights the plight of the dominant NBA center. Yao and O'Neal, two global icons, retired within the span of four weeks. Back in Yao's rookie season, the two got off to a rocky start when O'Neal made racially insensitive remarks. But they represented the last of a dying breed, and Yao gained O'Neal's respect; if you doubt it, check their respective Twitter feeds. While Yao offers no hints of his own future on his page, his third-most recent tweet wishes O'Neal a happy retirement: "He was a great champion and player. I wish him success and happiness." One of O'Neal's most recent messages is a video of him discussing Yao's retirement. "Let's go on vacation boy, me and you," he says.

Their retirements only underscore the lack of quality options for teams at center, a position that used to be the conduit coaches ran game plans through. Before the 2004-05 season, the NBA tightened the enforcement of banning hand and forearm checking by perimeter defenders, a decision that sparked a renaissance among point guards and marginalized big men throughout the league. "Everybody is playing on the perimeter," Van Gundy says. "In the NBA, the post player is able to get clubbed, beaten on legally, where on the perimeter, you can't touch anybody. It's just natural that the game has gravitated there." Howard is the best of what's left — with a significant gulf between him and the likes of Andrew Bynum, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut, and Nene.

Out of all the great centers who ever played, Yao is the only one who never even played in a conference finals

Scroll through the list of great centers: Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq, Moses Malone, Hakeem, Patrick Ewing. All of them played for a championship. Heck, even Arvydas Sabonis played in a couple of conference championships. Which leads us to the strongest and most legitimate strike against Yao's legacy on the court. "He didn't have that deep playoff run," Battier says. "It's tough to have an enduring legacy without that. At his height, he was one of the most dominating players in the game. When he was healthy and in form, he couldn't be stopped. That's how I'll always remember him. I don't know if history will be as kind."

Someone apparently put a curse on the 2002 draft class

Yao, the first overall pick, lasted only 486 games. The Chicago Bulls chose Duke's Jay Williams second only to see his career end with a motorcycle crash after his rookie season. Mike Dunleavy Jr. (third overall to Golden State) and Drew Gooden (fourth to the Memphis Grizzlies) carved sustainable careers, but ones utterly unworthy of their high selections. They were followed by Nikoloz Tskitishvili, one of the all-time great busts, and Dajuan Wagner, who had his career derailed by a colitis condition. (You can't make this stuff up.) Beyond Yao, Amar'e Stoudemire (ninth), Caron Butler (10th), and Carlos Boozer (35th) are the only players from their class to make an All-Star team. Luis Scola, Yao's former running mate, was the third-to-last-pick that year and is now arguably the second-most productive draftee of that class.

Yao was one of the NBA's funniest personalities

Once, before members of the Rockets took a drug test, Yao gazed around the room, smiled, and asked his teammates: "Why am I the only one not nervous?"

Yao's quick wit was legendary among his teammates and the media. His longest running joke concerned his hearing: Yao is partially deaf in his left ear, the result of an allergic reaction to medicine as a child. No one could blame him for using his hearing to as an excuse to ignore the constant gawkers that a man who stands 7-foot-6 draws. But, remembers Battier, "He always did a great job of pretending he didn't hear you, especially when he missed an assignment. Yao wasn't as deaf as he made himself out to be."

"He always heard me when I said, 'Yao get Dikembe,'" Van Gundy says, laughing. "But when I talked pick-and-roll defense, then the language barrier became much more dramatic." The fact that Yao could use humor so quickly after arriving in the United States was in many ways his secret weapon, one he often used to buy time or deflect attention from the questions that he did not want to answer. Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, once asked Yao the topics of a team meeting early in his NBA career. Yao, Feigen said, leaned toward him and whispered (in English), "I don't know. I don't understand English."<SUP id=reffoot2 sizset="19" sizcache="5">2 (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6760779/the-legacy-yao?view=print#footnote2) </SUP>
(Yao used a translator named Colin Pine during his first two seasons, until it became obvious he had mastered the langauge. Feigen asked members of the media in China for the exact translations of Yao's words when he first arrived. Feigen remembers it wasn't long before the foreign media would ask him what Yao meant when he talked in American sports cliches, such as "We had our backs against the wall.")

Yao has already shown interests in areas outside of the NBA

He owns the Yao Restaurant & Bar in Houston and the Shanghai Sharks, the Chinese basketball club with which he honed his skills. He is also contemplating attending college. "Yao doesn't want our pity," Van Gundy says. "I feel bad for him. But Yao has so much to offer than just playing basketball. If he doesn't want to do that, he'll contribute in other areas. He can do what he wants. I feel badly for him, that his career was cut short because of injury, but this is not a guy who's not going to be able to find himself outside of the game."

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6760779/the-legacy-yao?view=print

pacer4ever
07-20-2011, 01:18 PM
<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/J4nHDTYgKoc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

ballism
07-20-2011, 01:27 PM
The translator speaks English worse than Yao.
A stretch from 3:03 is hillarious.

Heisenberg
07-20-2011, 01:27 PM
Pretty impressive that Yao can learn to speak English more clearly in two years than a professional translator.

Constellations
07-20-2011, 03:28 PM
I'll never forget the Yao Vs. Shaq era... Best wishes and prayers to you big man.