The NBA lockout will see some players make the decision not to return, especially if they’re career has been riddled with injuries and/or it has just been a very long career.  We have already waved a brave goodbye to a huge NBA champion, and now we are getting ready to say the same to another.  The man who came over the waters from China and blew us away with his work on the court, but walked into immediate acceptance from the hip hop community with his universal name.

We say goodbye to Yao Ming who has spent his entire NBA career with the Houston Rockets.  He stepped on the court at age 21,  from China and spent nearly a decade astounding the crowds with his unusual size and skill.  Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neil retired back in June after injuries, a high profile divorce, and nearly 20 years of master showmanship on the court. Both Ming and O’Neil battled as the literal giants of the game, both seven footers towering over others.

It is indeed the end of an era with only a hand full of those left in the NBA that can say they played alongside the best to ever do it:  Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird and many more.  Salut! to the soldiers of the NBA.  Check out Ming’s farewell speech.

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