Source: Rockets' Yao Ming retiring from basketball

A league source says Yao Ming has informed the league he's retiring. (AP)

July 7, 2011 10:00:00 PM PDT
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming says he will retire from the NBA after eight seasons, according a person with knowledge of his situation. Yao, 30, missed most of last season with a stress fracture in his left ankle. He played in only 5 games in 2010-11, averaging 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. He had surgery on his ankle in January.

For his career, Yao averaged 19.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

The 7-foot-6 center was selected first overall by the Rockets in the 2002 NBA Draft.

The Rockets have no comment on the report because of the lockout, and the NBA has not received official retirement paperwork from Yao.

Yao's contract expired after last season, and the Rockets said they were interested in re-signing him if he came back healthy. Yao said in April that his professional future depended on his recovery from a stress fracture in his left ankle.

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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.