Former Houston Rockets All-Star Yao Ming will reportedly be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported the news Wednesday, and Mark Berman of Fox 26 confirmed it. Ming averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in eight NBA seasons, all of which were with the Rockets franchise.
Yao was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft and flashed the ability to dominate at times. Unfortunately, nagging foot and leg injuries prevented him from having a longer career and truly living up to his potential. He officially retired in 2011.
With a soft shooting touch and a towering 7'6" frame, Yao had the tools to be an all-time great big man. That the Chinese phenom is still being recognized as a Hall of Famer shows how much of an impact he had.
Lonzo Ball Proves He’s a Big Baller by Winning Summer League MVP
Best and Worst Moves of the NBA Offseason So Far
Winners and Losers of the 2017 NBA Draft
Jayson Tatum NBA Draft 2017: Scouting Report, Grade for Celtics Rookie
Grading the Jimmy Butler Trade for the Chicago Bulls
Josh Jackson NBA Draft 2017: Scouting Report, Grade for Suns Rookie
Lonzo Ball NBA Draft 2017: Scouting Report, Grade for Lakers Rookie
Pick 1: Markelle Fultz NBA Draft 2017: Scouting Report, Grade for Sixers Rookie
The Golden State Warriors Have Secured Their Place in NBA Finals History
Warriors and Cavaliers Scuffle
LeBron James Goes Off the Backboard and Slams It Down
Kevin Durant and Lebron James Jawing
Kevin Durant Is One Win Away from Capping Off an Unbelievable Year
The Warriors Are Historically Dominating the Playoffs
25 Years Ago, MJ Shrugged Off Clyde Drexler and the Blazers
Kevin Durant Game 1 Dunk Compilation
LeBron Dunks on Mcgee
LeBron Dunks on Mcgee
Kevin Durant Sends an NBA Finals Statement, Dominates Game 1
Good Girl Gone Bad: Lebron Fan Rihanna Heckles KD in Game 1
The move Yao made from China to the NBA opened the door for the Association to expand its global reach, which is a unique part of his legacy.
One could argue no one drew more new fans to the game than Yao did when he arrived in the United States and thereafter. Television ratings soared; ESPN.com's Michael Wilbon noted in December 2010 that approximately 200 million people tuned in to China Central Television to see Yao play.
Despite his playing days being over, Yao is still around the game, serving as the owner of the Shanghai Sharks. The franchise is where he began his career on the hardwood as a teenager, developed his skills and ultimately positioned himself for the leap to the NBA.