Yao Ming was a headliner at this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, but with his NBA career having been cut short by injuries, the big fella never expected the honor at this stage of his life.
Yao figured it wouldn’t be for another decade until he got the HOF nod.
The 36-year-old continues to battle chronic foot problems.
Per In Depth With Graham Bensinger:
Did you not think you would be elected?
Yao: “Maybe not that early. Maybe another 10 years or so. I know a lot of guys on the waiting list for so many years, maybe some guys don’t even see it when they’re still alive.”
Going back to as far as 1996 when you were playing for the junior team you break your left foot; the next year playing for the senior team you break it again. How true is it that after that second break you could never jump in the same way you once did?
Yao: “Well I really don’t need to jump to play basketball. So the jump doesn’t matter for me. […] Today I feel this foot is almost completely numb on the top of my foot… The surgery probably did some damage to my nerve system or something and I feel less down there.”