Yao Ming officially retired from the NBA today after an injury riddled final few seasons to a career that was cut short. The 7'6" center was a highly touted first pick overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2002 NBA Draft. Although Yao won a championship in the Chinese Basketball Association before coming to the NBA, many fans and analysts alike might argue that he was never able to live up to his immense potential to become the dominant force in America so many expected him to be.
Still, even though he was never able to lead his team to the NBA Finals, Yao still managed to compile some impressive stats and performances in his relatively short yet memorable career. This prompted Yahoo Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski to argue that Yao deserves to eventually receive an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for both his contributions on the court, as well as the cultural and global impact he made on the sport.
Yao's body of work includes nine seasons with a career average of 19pts, 9.3rbs, and 1.9blks in 32:30 minutes of play. He appeared in the playoffs four times with the Rockets, yet only made it out of the first round once in 2009 when they beat the Trail Blazers 4-2 and then lost to the Lakers 4-3 in the second round. Yao was named to the All-Star team a total of eight times in his nine seasons, but many would also refute the credibility of those numbers being that he received thousands of international votes from his Chinese fan base even when he was injured, or limited in his play.
Combining Yao's numerous achievements with all of his short-falls and injuries makes for a difficult overall assessment. For all those who agree with Wojnarowski's opinion there are sure to be an equal if not greater amount of detractors of it as well.
Source: Yahoo Sports