Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yao Ming Retiring? Chinese Fans Hope Not Yet

Yao Ming, retirements, Chinese, China, Sports, Players,
Beijing (CNN) -- Yao Ming fans in China reacted with shock and disbelief when they learned from U.S. media reports Friday night that their basketball idol has decided to retire.

Fans took to the Internet Friday to express their feelings about the basketball star, who plays with the Houston Rockets in the NBA.

"I did not expect his retirement to come so soon!" said a Netizen called Yilubaijiahei in a Sina Weibo microblog.

Another person who went by the name Tuzitouda in another tweet wrote: "I feel a little bit of sadness. If Big Yao retires, it is not only the end of an era, but also the end of my NBA-syndrome including those seasons when Yao played with the Rockets."

Major news portals in China put the news on their front pages.

"The U.S. media say Yao has formally decided to retire, Chinese superstar says goodbye to NBA," reads the headline of Tencent Sports.

But Sina Sports, a section of Sina. com, one of China's biggest web portals, says its reporter reached Zhang Mingji soon after hearing the media reports.

Zhang, who is one of Yao's agents, said Yao did not announce his retirement and did not inform the NBA and the Houston Rockets that he was doing so, as reported by the U.S. media.

Yao's agent told CNN that he is giving a news conference in Shanghai on July 20 to talk about "his future career plans."

Chinese sports writers and fans believe that Yao's retirement, of course, will happen sooner or later, although they hope it will be later.


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