An eight-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection, and a member of the 2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team, Yao Ming had a solid eight seasons with the Houston Rockets. However, the Chinese-born center who towered at 7’6” will forever be known for his charismatic attitude, the influence he had as a global ambassador for the game of basketball, and, unfortunately, his injuries. Yao made numerous appearances, worked tirelessly with charities in both his native China and the United States, and dominated on the court when healthy. Towards the end of Yao’s career though, those health issues played an increasingly nagging role.

Finally in July of 2011, Yao announced his retirement from basketball due to recurring foot and ankle issues. While it may not have been as long as he would’ve envisioned, Yao’s NBA ride was one we were all glad to have been apart of. In celebration of the big man’s 33rd birthday, we’ve decided to highlight some of the lesser known details of Yao’s storied life, and present to you, 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Yao Ming.

Written by Adam Silvers (@silversurfer103)

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