Yao Ming’s retirement pulls down NBA ratings in China

After nine seasons in the NBA, the 7-foot-6, 30-year old Yao Ming is set on announcing his retirement from the league at a news conference... More Below... Posted by on Jul 11th, 2011 and filed under Basketball, Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment, NBA, News, Sports, US, World.

After nine seasons in the NBA, the 7-foot-6, 30-year old Yao Ming is set on announcing his retirement from the league at a news conference this July 20.

Yao has given the NBA more popularity in Asia in the early 2000′s, especially in China where there was a significant rise in merchandise sales and t.v. ratings since the Houston Rockets made him the top overall pick in 2002.

“He is one of the most influential people in today’s society, especially to those born in the ’80s,” said Ren Bo, a 25-year-old sports trainer. “It’s probably going to be a while until we see another Yao Ming.”

News of the center’s retirement upset fans from his native country.

“It is Yao Ming who makes the kids in China like basketball and it’s also Yao Ming who makes the kids know how a real professional basketball player should be,” says long time basketball commentator Xu Jicheng.

A follower of Yao Chinese-”twitted”, “What’s the point of watching NBA now?”

An online poll on Weibo showed that 57 percent of the respondents would cease to watch the NBA.