Shanghai, China — Yao Ming has made it official, telling a packed news conference in his hometown that a series of injuries have forced him to retire from basketball.
The 7-fooot-6 center, who became a household name in China before starting his NBA career with the Houston Rockets as the top draft pick in 2002, said: "I will formally end my career."
Yao played eight seasons in the NBA, but missed 250 regular-season games over the past six years.
Houston general manager Daryl Morey attended Yao's farewell conference Wednesday, and NBA Commissioner David Stern was scheduled to send a message via video link. Morey had to get permission from the NBA to be attend because the lockout prohibits contact with players.