I knew this would happen. Like the sun that had finished its cycle, welcoming the night where the stars majestically shine ever so brightly… Yao Ming has finally retired.
One of the best big men in basketball history will finally walk away from the sport that brought him glory and greatness. At 30 years old and a recurring foot injury, Yao clearly had enough of rehabilitation and surgeries. He decided to walk away while he still can walk.
It wasn’t to everybody’s surprise. Yao had been sidelined since December 2010 because of a stress fracture that developed on his left ankle, the same leg that has been troubling him for years.
He was an iconic figure that brought down barriers on a sport that was invented and dominated by the Americans. Many believed that he would fail in his transition to the NBA. But Yao never entertained the thought of failure. Never did he question his talent and work ethic. Everybody is capable of greatness; it’s just a matter of how much you want it.
The NBA was more than just basketball to Yao; it was more about building bridges and closing the gap.
It was one promising career, although it didn’t end how we’d hoped, but Yao still delivered its promise—he built the bridge equally majestic to the great wall.
There won’t be any Yao Ming, not with his enormous talent and his 7’6″ frame. His height was his gift, and it was also his burden. His leg eventually gave up on his 300-pound body and a nation with billions of people putting their hopes on Yao’s shoulder.
The gentle giant has finally retired. Out from the limelight, and out from all the expectations. For the first time on his life, he is finally free… free from the countless surgeries and rehabilitation and free from all obligations. He leaves the sport in good hands.
Yao Ming is undoubtedly a future hall of famer. At 30 years old, he could still try to come back and do it for one last time. But how much rehabilitation and surgery could he bear? Eventually, it would end like this.
He belongs rightfully up there… right among the stars who majestically shine so bright.