Yao Ming tells touching story as Rockets retire his jersey

On Friday night, the Houston Rockets retired the No 11 jersey of Hall of Famer Yao Ming during half-time of the game against the Chicago Bulls.

It was a special night for Yao, and the 36-year-old did not disappoint, delivering a funny and touching speech in front of the capacity crowd.

“I remember the first time I watched (an) NBA game, randomly saw a shot the cameras gave on those retired jerseys,” Yao said. “After I read stories, I know that the highest honor a player can reach for himself and an accomplishment for the team. Today I think I’ll always ask myself what is the story behind it.

Yao ming jersey

“I hope people see the jersey there and remember the story, not only about myself, but also my teammates, my opponents. We created the story together, just like the other jerseys created the story for (us.)”

The halftime ceremony was attended by the likes of former Rockets stars Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Accompanying Yao were were his wife Ye Li, daughter Yao Qinlei (Amy), mother Fang Fengdi and father Yao Zhiyuan.

Yao ming ceremony

Towards the end of his address, Yao also told a heartwarming story, about arriving in America, the Chinese new year, a one-dollar bill and the efforts of the players and coaching staff at the Rockets to make him feel at home.

It starts at around the 5:40 mark in the video below

It was also a good night for the Rockets on the court, as they beat the Chicago Bulls 121-117.