The Houston Rockets will have a representative at Yao Ming's retirement announcement in Shanghai this week despite rules barring communication between team officials and players during the NBA lockout, reports the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen. Rockets GM Daryl Morey will make the trip, per Feigen.
Word broke 10 days ago that Yao had filed retirement paperwork with the NBA; since then, it was announced that he'd hold a press conference announcing the decision on July 20 in his hometown of Shanghai. Yao was the Rockets' No. 1 pick overall in the 2002 NBA Draft, and spent all nine of his seasons in Houston. He only played in eight of those seasons, and has only played 91 minutes in the past two seasons combined due to recurring injuries to his foot.
At 7'6, Yao was at times a dominant center, one of few remaining in the NBA. He was an All-Star starter in every season, thanks no doubt to contributions from Chinese fans with internet connections. But he was also a regular on the All-NBA team, a testament to the fact his power wasn't just in fame, but also talent and production.