A massive chasm opened up in the Chinese basketball world on Wednesday, and it could take a long time to fill - depending on who you speak to.
At 2.26 meters, or as we old folk like to say - 7 foot, 5 inches, Yao Ming must have some trouble getting through most doors; but he sure as heck opened up a lot for the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Yao Ming was only in his second year in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Houston Rockets and relied heavily on an interpreter before developing his English proficiency. However, first-year coach Jeff Van Gundy had no difficulty communicating with his towering star. "He worked hard at his English but he spoke perfect basketball. He didn't need any help on the court. He had a superior basketball IQ," said Van Gundy, who coached Yao during four of his finest seasons in the NBA.
"Yao Ming, hello (in Chinese), my brother, it's Shaq. You are China's greatest player and among this era's greatest players. I will miss you now, let's go on holiday together, you and I."
Chinese basketball icon leaves the game and a huge legacy after a landmark career with the Houston Rockets in the NBA.
Though regretting Yao Ming's decision to retire, Chinese fans across America are adamant they will continue their support for the all-star center.
It's final. In a news conference held in Shanghai and broadcast live in China on Wednesday, Yao Ming announced his retirement from basketball, staging an emotional end to a glorious career.
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