Yao Ming to Reveal Future Plans in a News Conference
The American agent handling Yao Ming is not confirming the reports that the Houston Rockets center will be retiring. The agent said Yao has scheduled a news conference for July 20th to reveal his plans.
The agent, John Huizinga said he was not at liberty to say what Yao is planning, only the he Yao is going to make a statement in the news conference. Huizinga said it’s also inappropriate to say anything before Yao does.
Yao Ming has been troubled by leg and foot injuries in the later part of his career and in the past six seasons has missed 250 regular season games. Yao was only able to play for five games last season before getting a stress fracture on his left ankle. Yao’s contract with Houston ended last season, but Yao still wished to play for the team. Earlier this year Yao acknowledged that prevailing injuries might force him to retire.
Yao’s news on retiring triggered a frenzy in China, with thousand of fans reacting that it will be a loss to china to lose such an important sports icon. Yao is an eight time all-star and has averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in eight seasons. He also became the global icon that connected China and the rest of Asia to the NBA.
During his nine seasons with the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming took on the status of a national icon in China, and single-handedly expanded the reach of the NBA in Asia. Shooting up merchandising sales and TV ratings for the games after the Rockets made him a top pick during the 2002 NBA draft.
On reports of his possible retirement, Chinese fans say it’s about time for the country’s next generation of emerging sports stars to be recognized. Many say it is not healthy for a country to place too much hope on one player when China is capable of producing more talent in the coming years.