Yao Ming's No.11 Jersey To Be Retired By The Rockets

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Nov 14, 2012 02:42 PM EST
Yao Ming
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (C) shoots over Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (L) as forward Brandon Bass watches in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas April 15, 2009.(Photo : Reuters) "

According to Houston Rockets' owner Leslie Alexander, the organization plans to retire the No.11 jersey of Yao Ming.

After the unveiling of the All-Star ballot Tuesday, Alexander touched on the plans to retire the former Rockets star jersey to the raptors.

The former Rockets center was drafted No.1 overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. Ming was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team Selection and after being named Western Conference Rookie of the Month in both December and February, finished second overall to Amar'e Stoudamire for NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

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The eight-time NBA All-Star has had a career plagued by injuries.

In 2005-06, Yao missed 21 games after surgery to clean out an infection in his left big toe. Although he still managed to have a career-high ten 30-point performances and once again led all players in All-Star voting, his season ended early. On April 10, he left a game against Utah after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot.

On December 23, 2006, in the midst of what many observers felt was going to be an MVP season, Yao broke his right knee trying to block a shot and subsequently missed 34 games. Although the Rockets did manage to make the playoffs, and Yao scored 29 points in Game 7 of the first-round matchup against the Utah Jazz  including 15 points in the fourth quarter, the Rockets lost the series 4-3.

In 2008 Yao underwent a series of MRI and CT scans after experiencing swelling and pain in his ankle. The diagnosis was a stress fracture in his left foot, and Yao missed the remainder of the regular season, as well as the playoffs, while doctors inserted screws into his foot.

During the 2008-09 season, Yao played in 77 of the team's 82 regular season games, averaging 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds. Houston won 53 games and advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Yao's playoffs came to an abrupt end after Game 3, when he was diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Further testing, however, revealed yet another fracture in his troublesome left foot. At the time, surgery was not thought to be required, but in July of 2009, it was decided that Yao would in fact go under the knife, and as a result, miss the entire 2009-10 season.

Yao returned for the 2010-11 season but was once developed a stress fracture in his left ankle on Dec. 16, 2010, the team announced he would once again miss the remainder of the season.

On July 20, 2011, Yao announced he was retiring from the NBA due to his reoccurring injuries.

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