Height: 7 feet 6 inches
Weight: 310 pounds
NBA Career Stats: 19.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.9 BPG
Unquestionably the greatest Asian to step foot on an NBA floor, Yao transcended the league not only as a star center for the Houston Rockets, but also as an ambassador for the sport in his native China. Ming came to the NBA with immense hype and, if not for an injury-plagued career, may have lived up to the billing.
Houston drafted the 7-foot-6 anchor with the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He immediately showed he belonged in the league, earning first-team all-rookie honors and the first of his eight All-Star selections in his first season. Despite his dominance on the court, Ming’s career would be cut short by foot and knee injuries. He failed to play more than 60 games in five of his last six seasons. Ming was inducted to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.