After sitting out the entire 2009-2010 season with a foot injury, Yao Ming felt it was necessary to accept his player option for the 2010-2011 season. The move will pay him $17 million for the upcoming season which is more then he would have received on the free agent market.
Yao just felt like Houston was the best place for him to be:
"To miss one year is a long time,'' Yao said. "I've never been in this situation before, and I'm getting as much information as I can about my foot, to see what's the best for me and best for the Rockets. I decided a couple of days ago, and there's no one better than the Rockets now.''
SB Nation Houston feels that Yao has a huge set of expectations for himself this upcoming season:
By and large, he [Yao] is putting a huge chunk of the marbles into this coming season. Not to say that Yao wouldn't re-sign with the Rockets had he opted out, but in this case, he gives the front office one less problem to deal with. He also puts himself in the hot seat. If he performs well, he'll get a nice long-term deal next season. If he gets hurt, he won't get nearly as much money as he could have right now.
With Yao now officially a Rocket this will also boost their chances of bringing in a running mate to play along side Yao.