Fans of the Houston Rockets fondly remember the early 2000s when the team showed a lot of promise and were making the playoffs every single year.
That’s a far cry from the state of the team today but it should be remembered that the franchise had a vastly different lineup back then.
One of the stars of the team at that time was Yao Ming, the Chinese sensation who took the NBA by storm.
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) September 12, 2022
The NBA wished Ming a happy 42nd birthday on Monday, celebrating the eight-time All-Star who was truly unlike anyone who had come before – or after.
Ming was a sensation during his career in the league – he was incredibly fun to watch and did terrific work for his Rockets team.
There is a reason why this big man is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame.
A Legacy For The Ages
Ming averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists from 2002 to 2011, when he retired at the tender age of 30.
The 7-foot-6 center had suffered quite a few injuries and his body just couldn’t keep up with the pace and intensity of the NBA.
His tenure in the league didn’t last as long as others but Ming was still an immense presence in the association during that time.
He was an All-Star for every season he played and was also All-NBA five times and was All-Rookie in 2003.
Ming was a very traditional sort of center and he played the part so well – he was a fierce, unmovable unit for his team’s front court.
In the years since his retirement, many centers and big men have changed and there aren’t any guys who are built like – or play like – Ming.
This makes his time in the NBA even more special.