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Yao Ming retires from basketball

Carlos Barria / Reuters

NBA player Yao Ming reacts during a news conference to announce his retirement from basketball, in Shanghai, China, on July 20. Yao, who ignited China's interest in the NBA and became one of Asia's best-known athletes, announced his retirement from basketball on Wednesday. The 30-year-old had been widely expected to retire after he told the Houston Rockets he would not be returning next season after two years blighted by injuries.

The AP reports:

The NBA's version of the Ming Dynasty is done. After helping pro basketball gain a foothold in the world's most populous market, Chinese star Yao Ming has retired.

 Yao made it official Wednesday, telling a packed news conference in his hometown that a series of foot and leg injuries forced him to end his playing career at the age of 30. Continue reading.

Read a blog post by Ed Flanagan of NBC News on Yao's legacy, and hear from some of his fans in this video:

Chinese fans of Yao Ming react to news of the basketball giant's retirement.