End of an era in basketball
Updated: 2011-07-22 09:00
The news no one wanted to hear has finally come: China's iconic NBA star Yao Ming has decided to call it a day.
For most fans, Yao's retirement signifies the end of an era in basketball. As the person who carried the flag of a generation of Chinese sports stars, Yao helped raise China's image in the world and played a significant role in popularizing basketball and NBA in China. His retirement is thus a big loss for basketball in China as well as the United States.
An athlete's sportsmanship and performance reflect the sports power of a country. The 2.26-meter-tall Yao, along with his strength, skill and celebrity status, was the perfect sports icon to mirror the growth of the world's second largest economy as a sports power.
It will be difficult for a Chinese athlete to replace Yao Ming anytime soon. And NBA's stake in China will now hang in balance. We hope Yao will stay in the basketball circuit to promote the game.
Jia Maohui, via e-mail
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(China Daily 07/22/2011 page9)
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