Yao Ming - Bio, News, Photos - Washington Times
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12. Yao Ming - The most famous international basketball star joined the Houston Rockets in 2002. The 7’6” center went on to be an eight time All-Star and was part of the All-NBA team five times. He earned $120 million despite only playing 7 years in the NBA

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This undated image released by Animal Planet shows retired Chinese professional basketball player Yao Ming with a baby elephant. Ming sets off to help save Africa's elephants and rhinos from extinction by changing a 1,000-year-old Chinese tradition and ending the trade of illegal ivory and rhino horn in his native China in an Animal Planet special airing in the fall. (AP Photo/Animal Planet)

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NBA star Yao Ming pauses after he announced his retirement during a press conference in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Yao has made it official, telling the packed news conference in his hometown that a series of injuries have forced him to retire from basketball. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)