The Houston Rockets will retire Yao Ming's No. 11 jersey this upcoming season, according to CBS Houston. Ming's would become the fifth number in franchise history to be retired, joining Clyde Drexler (No. 22), Calvin Murphy (No. 23), Moses Malone (No. 24), Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 34), and Rudy Tomjanovich (No. 46).
While the Rockets haven't made an official announcement, China's Basketball Pioneers newspaper is reporting that "an unnamed member of Houston Rockets senior management" said the organization plans to honor Ming during the 2016-17 campaign. Another report is indicating that the ceremony will most likely take place around the Chinese Lunar New Year, which could mean sometime towards the end of January 2017. If true, the Rockets will have only two home games to choose from: January 20 against the Warriors, or January 30 against the Kings.
Over the weekend, Ming was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. From 1997 to 2002, Ming played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association before declaring for the 2002 NBA Draft and becoming the first overall pick. Yao, who consistently battled ankle injuries, played just eight seasons in the league, averaging 19 points, 9.2 boards, and 1.9 blocks per game. However, his contributions stretched far beyond the basketball court, as his presence helped bring the NBA to China. If it weren't for Ming, the league wouldn't be as prevalent in China as it is today.
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