Bad Luck Overwhelms Yao Ming’s Career
The most famous Chinese basketball star, Yao Ming, formally announced on July 20 in Shanghai, “I will end my athletic career as a basketball player and officially retire.”
During Yao Ming’s retirement press conference in Shanghai, his former coach Li Qiuping said, “It should have not been a problem for Yao Ming to play another five to six years, he is retiring at such a golden age, and it’s very regrettable.”
Yao Ming admitted during his press conference, “At the end of last year, my left foot suffered pathologic fractures [such fractures lead to weakness in the bone] for the third time, so I have no choice but to leave the arena.”
Yao Ming entered the NBA in 2002 as the first pick of the draft. During his nine year career in the NBA, Yao played 486 games, made 6,445 shot attempts, and scored a total of 9,247 points. He averaged 19 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
However, his career has been plagued by a shocking history of injuries, especially in the last six years. Due to a series of injuries and surgeries more than a pound of steel nails were implanted in his left foot. Due to these injuries, Yao has been forced to say farewell to basketball before reaching his 31st birthday.
The Rocket’s team doctor once said, if Yao gets injured again, he might not be able to walk like a normal person anymore.
Bad luck started in 2002
Yao Ming joined the Houston Rockets on Oct. 20, 2002. At that time, the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin was paying a visit to Houston. Yao participated in a talk Jiang gave at Texas A&M University’s Bush Library. Yao took a picture with Jiang and Bush senior and was praised as “The symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries” by the local pro-Beijing newspaper USA-SINO News.
Yao suffered from the pain of injuries every year after that. In 2003, his left brow was broken; in Oct. 2004, he injured his right arm; also in 2004, he injured the big toes of both feet; in December 2005, he contracted paronychia—a skin infection—in his feet; in October 2006, the toe nail on the big toe of his left foot had to be removed. There were a number of other injuries aside from these.
Yao’s former teammate Shane Battier said, Yao did not achieve the level that he wanted—he always wanted to win a NBA title.
Yao told the New York Times on July 19, “Chinese basketball should no longer hope for anything from me.”
Professor Chen Zhefei, a commentator on NTDTV, said on July 11 that for Yao Ming, with his competition experience, ability and weight, 30 should have been his golden age.
Professor Chen said, “But for Yao Ming, after joining the NBA, he played for China in 2002 in the World Championships, then in the Asian Games in 2003, then the Asian Games in 2005; he was always flying back and forth during the summer. In 2008, with injuries, Yao still played in the Beijing Olympics. After he left the Olympics, we can see he was very tired, pretty much burnt out.”
Chen said, “Beijing made the Olympics political, trying to decorate itself through the Olympics.”
Chen held that after Yao insisted on playing in the Beijing Olympics, his injuries got out of control; this is an important reason that forced him to retire early.
“The injuries in ’07 and the surgery in ’08, as well as the period of time right after his surgery played a very crucial role. During this period of time, no matter if it was his own intention or pressure from the Chinese regime, he did not listen to the team doctor or management of the Rockets, violated the arrangements of the NBA, and insisted on playing during the Beijing Olympics. I think this certainly played a very critical role.”
Read the original Chinese article.