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Yao retires

Godspeed, big guy.

Yao Ming, who became the face of China’s outreach to the West and the NBA’s growing popularity around the globe, has informed the Rockets and NBA he would retire, several individuals told of the decision confirmed on Friday.

Yao has played in just five games the past two season and has had five consecutive seasons ended or interrupted by bone injuries, most recently a stress fracture in his left leg suffered Nov. 10 in Washington. Yahoo.com reported that Yao officially informed the NBA of his decision in the past 48 hours.

Here’s the tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski that broke the story, and more from Yahoo and ESPN. All I can do is quote John Greenleaf Whittier:

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!
God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

Enjoy the rest of your life, Yao. Thanks for all you did, and all you tried to do, while you were here in Houston.

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