The Adrenalist

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One in a Billion (and a half)



Yao Ming Retires

At 7’6”, Yao Ming may have been built too big for his human feet. After nine injury-plagued NBA seasons, the groundbreaking big man announced that he will hang up his custom-made sneaks.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, Yao put up per game averages of 19 points, nine rebounds and nearly two blocked shots while battling stress fractures and breaks in his feet and knee. When he wasn’t injured, he was recovering. And he was winning. The Rockets dominated the paint when Yao was in the game.

In 2005, Yao earned nearly 2.6 million NBA all-star votes, breaking a record previously held by Michael Jordan. Yao, perhaps more than anything else, will be remembered as the player who brought the Far East to the NBA. His influence will be felt as the game goes worldwide, whether or not he (or any other locked-out player) ever again gets on an NBA court. This big man has made a very big impact.

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