Chinese great Yao Ming retires from basketball

Updated: 2011-07-20 14:17


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Chinese great Yao Ming retires from basketball

Yao Ming announces his retirement from basketball during a press conference, in Shanghai, July 20, 2011.  [Photo/]

Chinese great Yao Ming retires from basketball

Yao Ming and his family members pose for a photo at the press conference in Shanghai, July 20, 2011. [Photo by Cui Meng/] 

SHANGHAI - Yao Ming has made it official, telling a packed news conference in his hometown that a series of injuries have forced him to retire from basketball.

The Houston Rockets center, who has become a household name in China since starting his NBA career as the top draft pick in 2002, says "I will formally end my career."

The 7-foot-6 (2.29-meter) Yao played eight seasons, but missed 250 regular-season games over the past six years.

Yao's farewell conference was attended by Houston general manager Daryl Morey. NBA commissioner David Stern was scheduled to send a message via video link. Morey had to get permission from the NBA to be here, as the lockout prohibits contact with players.

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