Being 7' 6" tall is never a bad thing when playing basketball. Yao Ming's height earned him an immediate advantage upon joining the NBA, though many doubted his abilities. Ming proved his doubters wrong by making the All-Rookie First Team and earning a starting spot in the NBA All-Star game. Following his first three seasons, Ming's career was hampered by injuries, playing only 57, 48 and 55 games in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Ming was selected to the All-Star team 8 times to much controversy. Since the selection is decided by fan votes, a great deal of Chinese citizens voted Ming a starter despite lackluster stats, including when he'd played only 5 games in 2010-11.
Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in). Yao, who was born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Yao was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won a first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997.
Contributions by Dale Arnett, Brodey, and MementoVivere.