The jolly giant, Yao Ming, has hung up his sneakers and called it a career. After playing five years of professional basketball in China for the Shanghai Sharks, Yao was the #1 overall pick of the Houston Rockets in the 2002 NBA draft. An 8x All-Star, Yao has suffered a number of injuries over the past five years that led to extended periods on the inactive list, and he did not play a single game during the 2009-10 season. He was set to become a free agent this season, but the combination of the NBA lockout and his lingering foot injuries led to his decision to call it quits. When he was healthy, Yao was one of the most dominant centers and overall players in the NBA. At 7'6" and 310 lbs., he towered over opponents, ending with career averages of 19 ppg and 9.2 rpg. Perhaps more importantly, he was the first Chinese superstar to play in the NBA, greatly boosting the popularity of basketball in the world's largest country. Had he not been plagued by injuries, who knows how much farther his star could have risen. Yao is still only 30 years old.