Yao Ming Retires: Star Suddenly Decides To Leave NBA Following Injuries

Yao Ming has informed the NBA he intends to retire, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. It's unclear whether Yao can officially file retirement papers during the NBA lockout. Yao's contract with the Houston Rockets expired on June 30, and he would have been an unrestricted free agent if not for the lockout.

The last several years of Yao's career have been marked by repeated injuries. After suffering a broken foot during a playoffs series against the L.A. Lakers in 2009, Yao missed the entire 2009-10 season and played in just five games in 2010-11.

Houston made Yao the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft after the Chinese player wowed team officials in workout sessions and interviews. He made the All-Star team in every season in which he played a game -- including last season, thanks to fan voting determining the starters. But he was also named to an All-NBA team in five out of his eight seasons in which he appeared in a game.

Yao owns a team in the Chinese Basketball Association. It's unclear whether he intends to attempt a basketball comeback outside of the NBA.

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