Flashback Friday: Yao Ming


There has been news broken that former All Star Center for the Houston Rockets, and Chinese Icon, Yao Ming has been elected for enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. Yao, who is one of the biggest reasons the NBA reached new heights with viewers of his native country of China, was nominated by the  Direct Elect International Committee, sources have told Yahoo’s  Adrian Wojnaroski that the offiicial announce should come this weekend during the NCAA Final Four ( http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–yao-ming-elected-for-enshrinement-into-hall-of-fame-133818574.html).

The 7’6″  Yao Ming entered the league in 2002 as the number 1 pick and had an immediate impact for the Rockets, they went from winning 28 games the year prior to improving to 43, and his pairing with star Tracy McGrady in 2004 made them an even more formidable team.

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Although Yao’s career was cut short due to a chronic foot injury, it would be a lie to say that he was not one of the best players at the time. He averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds per game in his 9 seasons, while having a few fun battles with the “Diesel” Shaquille O’Neal, and often winning those battles. He had one of the prettiest offensive set of moves that he could perform in the paint, and he did what many centers in the past and especially today still can not do, and that was shoot free throws, and shoot them well.

He took his game to another level in 2005 and through to 2008, posting averages of 23 points and 10 rebounds per game in that span. That time frame can be considered his prime, but it was bitter sweet because he was forced to announce his retirement shortly after that. His retirement left us all wondering “what if?”, had he been able to remain healthy, there is a possibility that he would have ended up as one of the best Centers to ever play the game. There is no doubt that Yao took advantage of his time in the league, and he was arguably the best center at that time. Congrats on a well deserved accomplishment. 

In honor of the anticipated nomination, here are some of Yao Ming’s Top Plays during his time in the NBA.

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About Kirshner Saintil

Editor and Contributor for NBALead. FAMU Alumnus, Sports enthusiast, avid Miami sports fan. Follow me on twitter @Kirsh_TLFO.

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