Commentary

Yao a giant among oversized centers

Updated: July 8, 2011, 8:51 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
Yao MingThomas Campbell/US PresswireYao Ming averaged 19 points and pulled down 9.2 rebounds a game in eight NBA seasons.

Yao Ming's retirement seemed inevitable from the moment the Rockets announced he'd be out for the rest of the 2010-11 season. Nonetheless, it brings a tinge of sadness with it because of all the many "what if" questions it brings up. Most obvious among them, of course, is what he might have been if he'd never been hurt -- Yao was the best center in the league in 2006-07, his last fully healthy season, and was only 28 when he saw his last substantial game action in the 2009 playoffs.