image via: twitter

Yao Ming had his #11 jersey retired by the Houston Rockets last night in a move that was well deserved. Yao, who was already inducted into the basketball hall of fame last year, was on hand to show love to the city that loved him for eight years while he shared stories with the crowd, including how he has Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon to thank for making his own NBA dreams come true.


I still don’t think Yao gets the full credit he deserves for the great player he was. He was much more than just a 7’6 guy who could dunk. His skillset was extremely high and is part of what helped him last for as long as he did and eventually make the hall of fame. He averaged 19 points, 9.2 boards, and 1.9 blocks per game over eight years in Houston and became the sixth Rockets player to have their jersey retired.

Many former Rockets greats such as Olajuwon, Steven Francis and more were on hand to show respect to Yao and he came with some great stories, including this one about how Olajuwon inspired him to get into the sport. That was after he joked that his dream of getting a 10 day contract this season is officially over.

Yao kept the awesome stories going with this one about how his teammates made him feel at home during his first Chinese new year in the United States.

After all the emotion of the night, James Harden decided to jump into Yao’s arms, which actually showed just how big of a guy he is because Harden is not some small guard but next to Yao he looked like Mugsy Bouges.

#JamesHarden was super happy to see #YaoMing ??

A video posted by IFWTea (@inflexwetrust) on

All in all it was a great night in Houston and a well deserved night for Yao. Hopefully one day fans around the country will realize just how good he was and what he did for the sport on a global level.