Yao Ming calls injury a "sudden death"; doubts he'll return to peak form
The Houston Rockets are going to have to do it without him, Yao Ming says in an interview with China Daily.
And he has faith the team can win an NBA title without his 7 feet and 6 inches of seven-time All-Star assistance. "Even some of my close friends bet there was no way for the Rockets to win more than 30 regular season games last season. Just have a look at how much they won," he says in the interview, which took place in Beijing.
But the star center says talk of whether he'll make it back to his peak form is "nonsense." His remarks are almost shockingly candid: "I know I will retire one day. My career will end sooner or later. Even if I can play until I am 36, I have to accept that fact. The only problem is that 30 is the golden time for an athlete, but for me it's sudden death and I find it hard to accept that."
Yao says that although the intensity of his training has increased since his latest foot injury, he'll have to make it through next season without injury before he can speculate about his recovery. Yao admits that he hasn't played any competitive basketball — even in a scrimmage — since he went down in the third game of the Rockets' second round series against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 8, 2009.
His words stand in sharp contrast to the Rockets' relentlessly positive PR campaign on the center's recovery — one that included regular released videos of Yao dunking on a court by himself.
We're ones to look at the bright side. Maybe being sidelined will mean more time to spend with his newanchor baby.