Yesterday, one door officially closed while another one opened. Yao Ming is finished, his playing days are over. Yesterday, we heard from the big man’s mouth that he is retiring. Yao will return to do some work for the team he once played for, the Shanghai Sharks, and as David Stern hopes, will probably still have some involvement with the NBA. The former Rocket thanked many former teammates and opponents, including Shaquille O’Neal, Chuck Hayes, Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola for helping him along the way, and thanked the entire city of Houston for turning a skinny, young kid into a man. Yao might be done on the court, but he’s too big of an international presence to be lost forever. Shane Battier called him perhaps the most recognizable person in the world. He might be right. Yao will still be around in one form or another, helping to grow the game globally just as he’s always done, whether knowingly or unknowingly … We didn’t know Hot Rod would go in on LeBron like this … Teach me how to Jimmer? It looks like the best way to learn how to do that is to never shoot inside 30 feet. Fredette showed off his sniping at Jimmer Camp (appropriately named) by making three shots from beyond half court. The most annoying part about the whole tape are the YouTube reactions (as usual), calling Jimmer everything from a Don to sexy. And of course, there’s the obligatory “this looks altered” comment … Ron Artest told SI’s Sam Amick that he gets most of his jokes while in the bathroom. That would be a very Ron Artest thing to do. What he really needs to do is make some sort of wheelchair/handicapped/Andrew Bynum /injured quip because that scenario is just begging for someone to go in on Bynum … Timofey Mozgov will be going back to Russia to play where he did before coming over to the NBA. While he does have an out to return to the NBA whenever the lockout does end, will this guy be the next FrÃ©dÃ©ric Weis? … After signing with Under Armour yesterday, we caught up with Derrick Williams to talk about a number of things. Most interesting of all was that Williams believes Minnesota can be the next OKC. They have a lot of young talent, and the team’s rookie is just waiting on them to make “the jump.” But there’s a few differences between the two organizations, mainly one has Sam Presti and is pretty smart while the other has Kahn … Don Nelson will probably interview with Minnesota in the next few days. We suspect Anthony Randolph is already screaming at the television and ripping up the newspaper … And Alonzo Mourning is being sued over allegedly leaving the scene of an accident. Reports say Mourning’s car hit another vehicle during an accident this weekend, and supposedly ‘Zo may have left the scene. Mourning declined to say whether he was involved in the crash, saying it was already going on when he got there, so he left and then came back. Wasn’t he always known for his defense? … We’re out like Mike Wilbon vs. JaVale McGee.
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