In a report by the Houston Chronicle, the NBA’s Houston Rockets will retire Yao Ming’s #11 jersey. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said that raising Yao’s jersey will happen in the future. He said,
Sometime probably, yes.
Yao Ming has meant a whole lot for that franchise. He became the face of that franchise when nobody knew who he really was. He became the bridge that brought in a heavy Chinese fan base that would take the marketability of the NBA and the sport of basketball to a whole different level. In a way, Yao Ming was responsible for opening that gateway that allows the NBA players of today to become rock stars in China. He also opened up the dialogue that would allow American basketball players to play for a Chinese team and not necessarily be viewed as a downgrade.
When they do raise Yao Ming’s #11 jersey into the rafters of the Toyota Center in Houston, this would be a major step to acknowledge one of many great centers to play the game.