Contrary to recent reports, Yao Ming will be ready for the beginning of training camp, at least according to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
Morey spoke the day after Yao suggested in an interview with a Chinese newspaper that he would retire if his surgically-repaired foot doesn’t properly heal.
“Yao is on schedule to be available the first day of training camp,” Morey told the Houston Chronicle. “He’s continued to make positive strides in his rehab work and all medical reports so far have been positive.”
For the record, Yao is taking part in on-court drills, and last month he said his foot felt “OK.”
Obviously we’re hoping Yao recovers and can play at his peak, but what if that never happens? If Yao has played his last NBA game — or has seen his last quality NBA season — how does he go down in history?
With seven good seasons in the books, his career averages are 19.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He’s made five All-NBA teams, seven All-Star Games, and ranks 20th all-time in Player Efficiency Rating (take it for what you will) and 21st all-time in True Shooting Percentage. On the other hand, he only led Houston out of the first round of the playoffs once, and may be more known for injuries and hype than his production on the court.
At this point, would Yao go down as a bust of a No. 1 overall pick? Did he live up to expectations? Is he a candidate for the Hall of Fame due to his role in expanding the game into China?
How would you rate Yao’s career so far?