Yao Ming has officially retired. Watch a video from his press conference.
“I had been thinking over and over. Today I am announcing a personal decision: ending my career as a basketball player. But one door is closing and another one is opening.” were the exact words Yao used.
“Nine years ago I came to Houston as Yao, tall, skinny player […] The entire city and the team changed me to a grown man, not only as a basketball player. I feel like I’m a Houstonian and I will be always be with you,” continued Yao.
However the Chinese star won’t entirely give up on basketball as he will become the GM of a Chinese club: “Eventhough I am leaving the basketball courts I am not leaving the game. The Shanghai Sharks is how my professional life will continue. I am continuing to learn about managing and running the team and will do my best to bring honour and glory to my hometown and to Chinese basketball.”
NBA commissioner David stern issued a statement which said, amongst other: “Yao Ming has been a transformational player for our league and a source of enormous pride to the people of China and people of Chinese descent in the United States.”